Members of the business community, the Board of Supervisors and the Washington Redskins gathered Wednesday to celebrate the opening of the Eastern’s Automotive Group’s new headquarters in Dulles.
Moving its headquarters to Loudoun, Eastern’s brings with it 100 jobs and a $1 million investment. In addition to housing its corporate offices, the new location also is home to the company’s DirectCarBuying.com operation and serves as the company’s main reconditioning and distribution center.
“We call it the kitchen,” founder Robert Bassam said. “This is where it all happens.”
Eastern’s—now in its 25th year—boasts the largest selection of used cars in the metropolitan area and specializes in getting car buyers with less than perfect credit standing a loan using the company’s relationships with lenders. DirectCarBuying.com allows clients to fill out loan applications online, finding out their proposed interest rate, lender and other information on the car they want. That speeds up the buying process when they arrive on the lot.
“People can test drive their car, do the paperwork and be out of here with their car in 30 minutes to an hour,” Ahmad Samha, vice president of operations, said.
Before the formal presentation of a plaque to Bassam by County Chairman Scott K. York (R-At Large), attendees wandered between rows of cars ready to head to Eastern’s retail locations in Maryland and Virginia and admired some of the vintage cars in the showroom. They even had the opportunity to see where the Eastern’s commercials—complete with their catchy jingle—are shot.
In presenting the plaque, York credited Bassam and his company not only for their success—with $31 million in sales last year—but their commitment to the community in which they reside. York told the audience of a Dodge Caravan the company donated to a family whose 3-year-old son has Muscular Dystrophy so they could get around more easily and about the wounded veteran company members took to a Redskins game last year, granting his one wish.
“This company is great at serving the community,” York said. “Last year they gave about $225,000 back to the community.”
York said he was proud the company chose Loudoun and it appeared the feeling was mutual. Bassam said Loudoun had “no competition” to become the new home for Eastern’s headquarters.
“Loudoun just welcomed us with open arms,” he said. “This is home and work for a bunch of our folks.”
It was Loudoun’s location that made it the best option for Eastern’s, Bassam said. “We deal with Dulles Airport and the local auction site. “This is a main route where our transporters can come in and out very easily.”
This Board of Supervisors and the Department of Economic Development have worked to make the process of locating in Loudoun much easier for prospective businesses and relocations. And while the process for Eastern’s opening took 14 months, Bassam and Samha said they were overwhelmingly pleased with how it went.
“Everyone was really kind and friendly and were willing to help,” Samha said. “And even someone like me who knows nothing about this [process], they were able to work with me and I was able to figure it out. It has just been wonderful.”
Bassam said they were pleased to be in Loudoun and thanked everyone present for making the new facility possible. “This was a box and a dream that has come true for us. This is home.”