Mario Murgado came to the US from Cuba as a 4-year-old. Now 59, he feels blessed to be living in this country, be part of the community and be involved with his passion: the automotive industry. He is one of the most successful auto-dealership owners in South Florida, with six dealerships in Miami, four in Stuart, three in Jacksonville, three in New Jersey and two in Chicago.  

Apart from being an entrepreneur, he has a deep passion for old cars, which he collects, along with historical pieces and flags. Whenever he is having a bad day, he touches a 34-star flag from the US Civil War sitting near his desk, which is a reminder of how difficult those days were, “when there was a battle father against son, and brother against brother.”  

With more than 40 years in the dealership of cars, he still sees customers. “You can never get away from that,” he says. He attests that he loves his business, and even when he is out of his office, he is always working on something for the business. 

Mr. Murgado started his career in 1981 with auto magnate Norman Braman in Brickell and spent almost 20 years working for one of the most important auto dealerships at the time. Over the years, he held the positions of general manager, managing partner, president and CEO, and in 2000 he decided to start his own dealership. 

“In November 2000 I resigned, then on May 27 – and I never forget it was at 8:08 p.m. – I signed the dotted line and I was able to buy the Brickell store, a Pontiac, GMC and Honda dealership,” he said. 

After 20 years, he looks back at his memories when he dreamed of having his own dealership and is grateful for his accomplishment and for those who helped him on the journey. “I was able to complete that dream and buy that store, and the rest is history… We’ve been able to develop from there.” 

At this point of his career, he is looking to solidify his business, grow where he finds more opportunities and open doors for the new generations in his company. He says he is not looking to retire any time soon, but eventually he plans to take a step back and assume different roles in the company. 

Mr. Murgado was interviewed by Miami Today Reporter Gabriela Henriquez Stoikow. 

To read the full article and the rest of the Miami Today issue, subscribe to e-MIAMI TODAY, an exact replica of the printed edition.