7 May 2019 ·
Meet Our Dealer Principal
New Town Toyota & Kalamunda Toyotas Dealer Principal , Joe Zito
Joe says the secret of his success has been partly through his work culture at an early age, but more importantly, his passion for the motor industry and employment of high-calibre staff who are very motivated and provide customers with the highest level of service.
Where it all began...
Joes father, Guiseppi migrated to Australia and arrived by ship in 1929 from Sicily at the age of 16. At 19 Guiseppi married Angelina Torrise, who was 16 years old, in her home town of Donnybrook. Angelina and Guiseppi had four daughters before Joe and his younger brother Raymond were born; Angelina, Josephine, Mary, and Nancy. Joe Zito was Born in Donnybrook, South West of Western Australia on 17th September 1943.
Joe Zito’s passion for the automotive industry was sparked all the way back in 1947 to when Joe's father purchased a Reo Diamond truck with a tipping body where Joe used to sit on his father Guiseppe’s lap and steered the tip truck around the farm.
As a teenager, Joe helped out with the family business, a service station/mechanical repair shop and fabrication shop. Joe was hands-on from a young age, assisting customers and pumping fuel. Joe says having this responsibility from an early age gave him valuable exposure to the automotive industry as well as “the opportunity to learn the fundamentals of communication and selling skills within the local towns and rural communities.”
Joe got his first car at age 16 – a 1929 Darracq, the following year, he upgraded to a 1937 Ford V8 Coupe. On Joes 21st birthday his father gave him a EK Holden Station Wagon and then 3 years later he purchased his first brand new Falcon XR Sedan from Barnsby Motors in Albany.
This interest in cars continued in the early 1960s, when Joe, in his early 20's made the difficult decision to leave the family business and became a sales rep for a tyre company in Bunbury.
Joe’s work ethic, automotive competence and natural sales skills were quickly recognised and in just over 12 months Joe was approached by Firestone Australia to become a trainee store manager. At the age of 22 Joe was appointed Branch Manager at Firestone Australia's Albany branch. It was around this time when Joe decided that it was time for him to start his own family, marrying Helen Cooper.
In 1965 Joe approached Charlie La Mancusa a family friend who owned both Bunbury Toyota and Busselton Toyota and Charlie gave Joe a start as General Manager of Bunbury Toyota in which he remained there for 12 months.
While in Bunbury, Joe was offered a position at Premier Motor's head office in Osborne Park which was state distributor for car and truck brands like Ferrari, Aston Martin, Fiat, Triumph and Daihatsu, accepting the position of Manager he moved to Perth in 1967.
Joe had found a niche and he stayed with Premier Motors for 13 years.
In 1981 Joe was at a loose end and, his father passed away and Joe's first marriage came to an end. “For the next 2 years I chose to go back to the land with my first born son, Jason and I focussed on developing a bush block at Cundanup near Nannup”.
Within 2 years Joe had developed a farm, built his own damns, stock yards, machinery sheds and a shearing shed, and grazed sheep and cattle for the local markets. However, the automotive industry was in his blood and by 1983 Joe had returned to the adrenalin packed career of the motor industry. Joe secured a job as General Manager Kalamunda Toyota with the option to purchase the Dealership.
Joe had always had the ambition to own his own business and in March 1983 Joe purchased 50%, of the Kalamunda Toyota dealership and bought the balance three years later.
During this time, Joe was introduced to Sandra Jensen who was to become his personal partner, mother of their two daughters and a great boost to Joe in developing Kalamunda Toyota to achieve many prestigious Toyota dealer awards over 16 years. Sadly, Sandra passed away from breast cancer in 1999, leaving Joe to care for Bianca Grace, then aged seven, and Isabella Joy, five.
From 1992 To Now
Having run out of space to expand at Kalamunda Toyota Joe had to look at another location to conquer. The Don Roger's Toyota business, known previously as Naughty Don Roger's in East Victoria Park, had passed into John Hughes's hands in 1989 until John Hughes sold the business and site to Joe in 1992. The dealership name was changed to New Town Toyota.
In 1993 Joe commenced a major re-development of the site to cater for the future.
In 1998 Joe acquired Lexus of Perth from Stan Perron. The operation was moved to elegant new premises adjacent to New Town Toyota. The Lexus business has since been sold and the premise is now used to stock New Town Toyotas Used Vehicle stock.
Kalamunda Toyota now employs over 50 staff members and it’s unwavering commitment to providing quality products and services, and excellent guest service has contributed to its immense success over the last 30years.
New Town Toyota is today recognised as one of the largest and leading Toyota dealerships in Australia and holds the prestigious title of being the largest Toyota Genuine Parts Dealer in Australia. New Town Toyota employ over 150 staff members and are currently undergoing an exciting renovation of the entire dealership which is due to be completed in 2020.
Offering the complete automotive solution, New Town Toyota & Kalamunda Toyota helps thousands of West Australians each year get moving in their new Toyotas.
Joe appreciates the value of returning some of his results to the community, Kalamunda Toyota and New Town Toyota currently support multiple local businesses and charity groups ranging from local sporting clubs through to raising money for cancer research.
Joe says the secret of his success has been partly through his work culture at an early age, but more importantly, his passion for the motor industry and employment of high-calibre staff who are very motivated and provide customers with the highest level of service. Joe places an emphasis on customer retention, a goal he believes can be best achieved by treating customers like family.
Despite having achieved much in the field, Joe shows no signs of slowing down and remains an energetic, hands-on leader, often greeting customers on the shop floor.
“I do see New Town Toyota and Kalamunda Toyota enjoying continual growth. We have a great team and the capacity to lift sales and make a difference even during difficult economic times. We have a long history of performing well in a hard, competitive market.”