ZMOT History – Why Do We Do What We Do?

ZMOT History - Cardinale Group of Companies


ZMOT Auto delivers unsurpassed digital marketing for automotive dealers in retail automotive. We’re the only investment management and performance partner in the automotive marketplace created by a thriving dealer group. With 18 active rooftops in the United States, we’re uniquely situated to understand the difficulties and challenges dealers confront daily. We built ZMOT Auto to be the solution that we, as dealers, wanted. We treat all our partners the way we want to be treated.

The Preeminent Provider of Digital Marketing for Automotive Dealers

The ZMOT story began in 1979, when Joe and Tom Cardinale started a dealership in Seaside, California. Their founding commitment set the tone for everything we have done since that day. It’s called the CardinaleWay. It can be boiled down to seven words: “We develop outstanding relationships where everybody wins”. This simple statement has defined who we are, what we do, and why we do it.

In the years that followed, under the leadership of CEO Erich Gail, we expanded the dealership into a dealer group that includes 18 locations in California and Arizona with a dozen different OEM brands. ZMOT (Zero Moment Of Truth) is an outgrowth of our success. We realized that we could share our knowledge and experience by offering digital marketing for automotive dealers.

What We Learned

In 2011, we began the process of transforming our brick-and-mortar dealerships into a digital retail group. This required a bit of a learning curve. Rather than turn the digital marketing over to others, we embarked on a journey of learning and discovery. We found that there was a lack of business intelligence data. The different vendor platforms were disjointed and unable to communicate with each other, which translated into an inability to receive critical real-time information.

We realized that as a dealer, we make investments that lead to our success. We’re entirely responsible for our ROI and our performance. We believe it’s our right to demand a return on our investment. But the tools we needed didn’t exist. We were unable to track our performance at a level that allowed us to examine each dollar we spent. Instead, we were presented with reports and graphs that didn’t reflect our ROI.

Because we are 100% responsible, we reserve the right to analyze metrics at any level and to find solutions that allow us to link performance to our advertising, phone, email, text and chat — when we want and how we want.

The Trusted Marketing Provider for Automotive Dealers

As a result of our success, we became not only an automotive dealer group, but also a trusted provider of digital marketing for automotive dealers. ZMOT Auto is a digital partner that delivers refined sales analysis that leads to greater profits. We built ZMOT Auto with dealerships in mind, and we give back to the community of dealers, just as we received help and advice from dealers when we needed it. We honor our commitment to our dealer clients by sharing the knowledge we gained from our experience as a leading automotive dealer group. We help pave the way toward greater success for dealerships.


Start at Start Dealership Consultation

Let’s get started on the road to success. At no charge to you, ZMOT’s complimentary consultation includes actionable steps that you can implement in your dealership today to turn both your showroom and digital traffic into actual buyers. Our process was designed with over 40 years of experience owning and operating multiple dealerships and refining every aspect of day to day operation. We’ll conduct a thorough assessment and offer proven strategies for your dealership to improve lead generation and conversion performance without increasing expenses. We’ll answer questions every dealer wants to know but doesn’t know who to ask. Are you ready to Start at Start? Just sign up below, and we’ll be in touch shortly.

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