From The Top: John Morgan, Motozuma.com
By David Sharos For The Sun November 8, 2012 1:26PM
Naperville business entrepreneur John Morgan, 36, recently started Motozuma.com, a unique, first-ever automotive social savings website where prospective car buyers set up a free, personalized account to save for a vehicle down payment and can use social media to share or increase those savings using monetary gifts from friends and relatives. | Submitted
On the web
To check out Hyundai deals or secure a discount on a used car that is bundled with your own savings account, go to www.Motozuma.com.
Updated: December 12, 2012 6:25AM
Adapt and overcome has long been one of the primary strategies used by the military, but it is also what many have done the past few years in a trying economy. Adaptation is certainly what Naperville business entrepreneur John Morgan, 36, has done in launching an automotive social sales website that is helping people across the country buy new and used cars.
Motozuma.com is a first-ever automotive social savings website where prospective car buyers set up a free, personalized account to save for a vehicle down payment and can use social media to share or increase those savings using monetary gifts from friends and relatives.
Morgan’s path to entrepreneurship, however, was not entirely the way he scripted it.
“I went to Notre Dame University and graduated from there in 1998 with a degree in civil engineering, and I went into road designing where the pace of work was too slow,” Morgan said. “I decided to follow one of my passions — sports — and I worked for about fours years in Atlanta for the Thrashers in the NHL, and did sales and marketing. My wife is originally from Wheaton, so we wound up moving back here to Naperville where I worked with an agency that did marketing for General Motors.”
A native of Detroit, Morgan said he grew up with a father who was a car fan and that he developed an interest in automobiles as well.
“I’m not an ‘under-the-hood’ guy, but someone who has a love of cars from a visual sense,” he said. “I wound up doing event sponsorships, promotions and digital marketing for General Motors, and was with them from late 2002 until 2007 when I left the agency and decided to go out and do some digital marketing on my own.”
Two years later, Morgan launched Motozuma.com, which works with about 1,000 consumers a month, including many first-time car buyers. They set up personal savings accounts with the goal of buying their dream car and receive discounts once they pull the trigger with the dealer.
“We currently have an account with Hyundai where buyers will get up to a $500 discount off a new Hyundai once they finalize a deal,” Morgan said. “Buyers print off a certificate from our website, and their savings are automatically transferred to the dealer as part of their down payment, along with a dollar-for-dollar match of up to $500 off any new Hyundai vehicle, or they can save up to $200 on any used vehicle purchase.”
Morgan said that two-thirds of his clients so far are folks younger than 35. Motozuma continues to try and add other dealerships, such as General Motors and Chrysler products. Morgan hopes those markets will expand soon.
“We’re probably closer at this point to getting Chrysler into the fold,” he said. “I do have some contacts with the GM job I had, but since that automaker went through bankruptcy a few years ago, they’ve been slower to add new programs.”
In the meantime, Motozuma is networked with Hyundai’s 825 dealerships across the country as well as 20 Chicagoland used car dealers and a total of almost 90 used car dealers across the country.
“We probably spend about 50 percent of our time working to get new dealerships into the network and the other 50 percent working with our clients,” Morgan said.
Scott Voris, 42, who works in Aurora for Kelmscott Communications, said he met Morgan about 12 years ago when both men worked in the same field. Voris said he applauds Morgan’s vision “to make a go of it in a tough economy” and adds that Morgan “is passionate about marketing.”
“John is a passionate marketing guy, and he’s always been interested in cutting-edge technology,” Voris said. “He’s brought a unique and interesting product to the market even though e-businesses are very challenging these days. There’s no question he has taken some of the skills he developed in marketing from his earlier jobs, and he is using them now in new ways.”
Morgan and his wife and three young children enjoy Naperville and feel that it offers “a friendly-family environment.”
“Whether it’s the downtown area or the Park District or going to Centennial Beach, we think Naperville has a lot to offer, and it’s wonderful to live here and be 15 minutes away from work,” Morgan said. “With my wife being from Wheaton and having family here, we decided to move back, and we’re really enjoying our lives here and the people we’ve met.”
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