An Active Part of Your Community The future of Neftin's dealership is founded on the past. Starting as a small "mom and pop" dealership in 1977 on Thousand Oaks Blvd., the business has grown into one of the leading multi-franchise dealerships in the area. "But we still carry that image of a small, friendly store where you can knock on the door and talk to any of us," say owner, Howie Neftin. And indeed, walking in Neftin Westlake Car Company is like visiting a friendly neighbor - one who's been an outstanding member of the community for over 25 years.
The history of the dealership is one of family success in different quarters of the industry. Neftin's father, Murray was a vice president of finance for Mazda, brother Sam was working in Mazda dealer placement, "and I was selling Mazdas in San Diego after I graduated from college," he said. "We were all successful, so we decided to try a retail operation."
The resulting retail operation started at the then Westlake Saab on Thousand Oaks Blvd. In 1977 and was a struggle to maintain. Being native Californians from the San Fernando Valley, the family saw the opportunity and jumped at the chance. Releasing the Saab franchise and bringing in Mazda, "it was the three of us, an office clerk and three technicians, and the gas crunch was on also. Everyone wore a lot of different hats."
In the early '80s, things began to turn around for the Neftin dealership causing an expansion and addition of other product lines. In 1979 another family member joined the ranks creating a truly family-operated enterprise. "Our sister Laura joined us as office manager and today, she runs the customer relations department." In 1984, a move to its present location at the Thousand Oaks Auto Mall gave the dealership more exposure and a chance to add to its product line. Neftin Westlake Car Company is now basking in the accolades of the industry. By being a highly rated dealership in all aspects of customer service. Also, Mazda are in the top ten-percent in the nation. Neftin promotes a fun family environment in addition to its number one priority - customer service and satisfaction. The dealership holds monthly barbecues and critiques for employees where we talk about customer service commitment to excellence and what's important for our success.
Viewing a transformation in the industry due to quality products manufactured by most all car companies, it's customer satisfaction that drives us. And that is what we do best. Having won the J.D. Power and Associates Dealer of Excellence award 3 years in a row justifies that. This award and certification program recognizes dealers who provide an outstanding experience during the new-vehicle sales process. Having celebrated its 40 year anniversary in 2017, Neftin Westlake will continue to give an outstanding customer experience in all facets of its operation.
Community involvement is an important aspect of Neftin's efforts as well. Being one of the host dealerships for the Real-Life Science event at the auto mall was important in creating a tighter bond between free enterprise and education. The program was designed to educate students of Oak Park School District on the basics of science pertaining to the auto industry. "The program provides many benefits," states Neftin. "The students can see the relevance of what they learn in school as it applies to the real world and we feel it will definitely stimulate learning."
An active participant in your community for over 25 years, Neftin cares about its customers. Very few local business leaders are plugged into the community the way they are. They take pride in volunteering and sponsoring local events. Donations to local charities, educational institutions, and participation in fundraising drives for a multitude of foundations are just a few of the many generous efforts Neftin Westlake gives back to their neighbors and friends. Yes, they really are in your neighborhood!