SAN RAMON − Greg Meier had barely reached adulthood when he resolved to turn his automotive fascination into a lifelong career, but he never anticipated how far it would take him. “I was a car nut in high school, and back in those days, what you drove was part of who you were,” he remembers. “I had a ’66 Mustang that I took apart and put back together probably 20 times. Even after going to college to study architectural design, I ultimately decided I wanted to make cars my livelihood.”
Rather than enroll in a trade school or start working in a local repair shop, Greg opted to take a more self-determining route. “I started out small: I sold my car and bought two cheaper ones, sold those two and bought three more, and just kept reinvesting my money,” he says. “I didn’t really set out to be a salesperson, but I guess if you’re nice and honest with people, it just kind of flows.” Through the exponential growth of his investments, Greg was eventually able to establish a centrally located auto sales, brokerage and consignment service in San Ramon.
Today, as owner of Diablo Motors, Greg credits much of his success to his straightforward, no-strings-attached brand of salesmanship. “When you buy a car here, it generally takes 30 minutes to an hour because we remove all the haggling and arguing from the equation,” he explains. “We do this by showing all the pertinent numbers upfront, with the Kelley Blue Book retail price and our discounted price side by side. When a customer sees they’re already getting $3,000 off the retail price, there’s not a lot to argue about. Not to mention the fact that we do a 200-point inspection and guarantee each car we sell, which you don’t usually see at the big dealerships.”
A long-time resident of Danville (where he lives with his wife, Kellie, and their daughter, Rachael), Greg spends his time outside of work engaged in a variety of active pastimes. “I’m an avid cyclist, and I typically ride 100 to 200 miles each week,” he says. “I often ride my bike to pick up new cars, which lets me get a workout while sparing the air. I’m also an avid skier, whether it’s on the slopes during the winter or on the Delta during the summer.”
In his life and career, Greg espouses the virtue of making a positive impact. “I feel like my mission in life is to improve everything around me as best as I can,” he says. “For example, I do my part to help the environment by selling only fuel-efficient vehicles that are well-tuned and catalytic converter-compliant.” In keeping with this philosophy, when asked the first thing he’d do if he could retire tomorrow, Greg says he’d refocus his efforts toward saving the planet. “I would get involved in something that benefits the environment, like solar energy or Green building. I’d also like to buy a house in the hills that’s in close proximity to some nice skiing and biking spots. Also, my wife is into Equestrian sports, so she’d be able to have horses on the property.”