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The Man behind Utah’s Craziest Car Dealership Commercials

Nick Markosian from Markosian Auto is the man behind Utah’s craziest car dealership commercials. His passion for cars dates back to his childhood.


You may have seen him in one of his memorable commercials. On television, he fits the profile of the shameless used car salesman, but in person, Nick Markosian is much more subdued. Tanned and handsome, he is neatly dressed and speaks confidently without any of the fanfare he exhibits in his commercials.

It isn’t from nowhere that Markosian’s comfort in front of the camera came. As a boy, he was in commercials that were filmed in what was then Osmond Studios. It seems he has always wanted to put it out there.

When he was in high school, Markosian managed to break his leg several times, so to pass the time while he was down, he learned to play the saxophone very well. So much so, that he was offered a full-ride scholarship in music at the University of Utah. But ever restless, he spent only a year in college.  

“For whatever reason, I wanted to grow up real fast. I don’t know why, but I just had that propensity — that proclivity to grow up fast and have my own business and move forward,” he said. “I owned four rental houses by the time I was 22.”

However, Markosian has some regrets. “I would have liked to have gone to school and gotten better at music,” he said. “Life’s a long time. I don’t think I would have necessarily sacrificed much by enjoying that period of my life a little bit more and not being so gung-ho.”

Markosian has been gung-ho about cars since he was a young teenager and subscribed to auto magazines. In addition to his natural curiosity, his great-uncle was Rick Warner, who was one of the largest dealers in the area. “I always admired and liked him,” Markosian said.

Drawn to the used car model, he opened Markosian Auto. “I kind of modeled my business after the customer that was walking in the door,” he said. “And we were always out here, west, you know, catering to more blue-collar customers that walk in the door with credit problems.” 

Markosian wanted to help his target customer obtain the car they wanted. “How can I make it easier for them? How can I get them into a better car?” he asked. “How can I make the buying experience better for them?”

His business model worked, and today Markosian has locations in Taylorsville, Draper, Tooele, and Ogden. 

Though successful today, he faced near financial ruin 15 years ago. “You know, I think anybody can recover from anything if they have perseverance, and I felt like that was the only option I had,” Markosian said. “There were many, many times when I was highly discouraged and thought, ‘Well maybe it’s time to throw in the towel,’ but I just kept coming back to work. I kept the doors open and kept trying to make my business better, and it wasn’t very long until we were one of the top dealers.”

He has this advice to others facing financial troubles: “Be honest. What got you here? I know what got me into my financial difficulties,” Markosian said. “I was reckless and overspent and just didn’t pay attention, and it got me into a really ugly situation. So, I think the number one thing is to be honest with what got you there in the first place, so you can fix it.” 

He added, “Realize that elephants are to be eaten one bite at a time. And if you just look at the long picture, if you persevere, you’re going to be fine.” 

Though Markosian is currently swimming in success, he has not forgotten others. “We have started a program where we sell cars to formerly homeless kids who are getting back on their feet”, he said. “The county has a program to help get them housed, get them jobs — teach them about basic finances, and my role in that is to sell them a good running car for a thousand dollars out the door. I don’t want to give it to them because I want them to have skin in the game and have to work towards something, but I do want to give them a subsidized, really good deal on these cars, and I’m really proud that we’re able to do that. We also give away a minivan every year to a family in need. We’ve done that for about 15 years.”

Say what you will about his commercials; Nick Markosian is a class act.


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