BIZ BEAT: Star salesman returns
Francis Vaivao loves his job and you can hear it in his voice when he talks to you about the place he works. His nickname is "Samoa Motors" and he likes it that way; he’s worked there before and he wants the world to know... he’s back!
You can hear people calling for him— or just calling out to greet him— around the Ford dealership which is a familiar landmark in the territory, located in the Tafuna Industrial Park just down the street from both of the territory’s banks. If there were a “Mr. Samoa Motors” — Vaivao would be that person.
He says he has returned to Samoa Motors as a new/old employee. He started with the company in October 2006 as a sales representative, then resigned in January last year in order to help with the family business in Tafuna. Though he left to build his own business, he missed Samoa Motors.
After all, he had become their star salesman because he truly enjoyed helping people.
The second of five children, Vaivao is no stranger to service. His parents are pastors with the Heart of Worship ministry, located in Petesa, and Vaivao says he has always kept busy and actively involved in the church as music director for the choir, working with the outreach ministry.
He thoroughly enjoys meeting new people... making friends and laughing with others. And yes, he does pick up his guitar from time to time for a jam session .... “I love to sing. It’s a gift from God.” he says.
Born in Honolulu on September 11, 1979, ( at the “big pink hospital on the hill” (Tripler) he admits, “ I was an army brat.” He describes himself now as a very social person who has always loved people and loves helping them out. He says of his sales rep job — “This is my favorite.”
Married with children, a two year old daughter and a five month old baby boy, his wife, Langahelotu, hails from the kingdom of Tonga. She now runs the family business, and Vaivao can concentrate on what he does best, which is serve his customers.
After a leave of absence for about a year, Vaivao has returned because he realized how much he liked it. David Yakim, general manager at Samoa Motors said, “His timing was great.. we’re busy...we have great products this year, coming in this spring and summer, and we are happy to have him back. He takes good care of the customers.”
Vaivao calls Samoa Motors his "second family" adding that the Reids are “really great to work for.” Nothing, he says, is better than helping customers, and he invites the public to visit the showroom where he will help people find the car they've always wanted.
Samoa Motors is the authorized Ford dealership on island, with the all-new 2012 Ford Explorers with 4 cylinder engines. “We're also bringing in full size 4-door F150s with V6 engines, and these cars are really fuel efficient.” he notes.
Samoa Motors is also the local Hyundai dealership, and their latest offering is the 2012 Hyundai Tucson, which is a 4 door SUV with power lock windows, keyless entry and 4 cylinders... again the emphasis is on great mileage. “With gas prices unpredictable —and mostly going up— this translates to a real savings” says Vaivao.
The dealership is currently offering a maintenance plan called "premium care" which is complete service coverage for your vehicle; in addition to repairs it covers emission checks such as air control valves and air check valves. It also covers brakes, steering and electrical problems and all of this comes with the purchase of the vehicle. For an additional fee, a more comprehensive maintenance plan can be purchased which covers "just about everything."