Fritz Hitchcock was a visionary and a leader in our industry. In choosing a buyer for Hitchcock dealerships, what factors did you consider?
Howard: Fritz was a car dealership for a car dealership – he didn’t just care about his own stores, he cared about the industry, and he gave back to the industry he loved every day. His mission in life was to make the automotive industry as good as possible. He truly lived the motto that the customer comes first, and he also believed passionately in employee well-being. As you can imagine, selecting buyers who would continue Fritz’s legacy of exceptional customer and employee service was of the utmost importance to Ted and me.
Ted: Although it was difficult to replace my father in the business, we were happy to see Larry Van Tuyl, another legendary car dealership, acquire our Santa Barbara and Northridge Toyota stores. My dad always admired Larry and his success in the automotive business, and we thought he would be an excellent steward of those stores. Additionally, we have known the Kaminsky family, who acquired our Puente Hills Toyota store, for decades. The late Bob Kaminsky was a close friend of my dad and I know he would be happy to know that Bob’s sons Greg and Gary Kaminsky now own this store.