Stevens Point, WI, July 2, 2018 – The Van Horn Automotive Group has announced the purchase of Stevens Point Nissan from Home Run Auto Group, located at 301 Green Avenue N, Stevens Point, WI. This marks the 13th dealership to be part of the Van Horn Automotive Group, and the 1st Nissan dealership.
With plans for a greater new and used inventory and further developing the service center, Van Horn aims to retain and increase the staff of employees. “We believe in investing in all the communities that we serve,” said Dick Strong, Chief Operating Officer of Van Horn Automotive Group. “The Stevens Point community is strong, with a diverse mix of business, education, culture and the arts. We’re humbled to operate in such a vibrant town.”
“Nissan is a brand we’ve wanted to sell for years, and Stevens Point is a great location; very accessible from every direction,” says Chuck Van Horn, CEO for Van Horn Automotive Group. “It took the right opportunity to make this possible, and we’re humbled to operate in such a vibrant town.”
This acquisition marks the thirteenth dealership location for Van Horn Automotive Group which operates in several areas across the state of Wisconsin, including: Plymouth, Sheboygan, Manitowoc, Fond du Lac, Lomira, Stoughton, Milwaukee and Oconomowoc and Newhall, IA. This is the first Nissan dealership for the group which carries several manufacturers, including: Chevrolet, Ford, Chrysler, Dodge, Jeep, Ram, Fiat, Hyundai and Mazda.
The Van Horn Automotive Group is a family born, employee owned automotive group with headquarters in Plymouth, Wisconsin. Founded in 1966 by Joe Van Horn as a single Chevrolet dealership, and purchased by his children: Chuck, Teresa and JP Van Horn, the Van Horn Automotive Group has grown to include 13 automotive dealerships, a finance company, a real estate business and several insurance companies. The group employs over 500 people throughout Wisconsin and Iowa. For employment opportunities visit the Careers page at www.vhcars.com.
Memorial Day Test Drive for Charity
On Memorial Day weekend, Van Horn Automotive Group took a different approach to customer test drives. For every test drive taken May 25, 26, and 28, 2018, Van Horn offered to donate $20 to Children of Fallen Patriots, a foundation that provides college scholarships and education to children who have lost a parent serving in the military. “We’ve been open on Memorial Day in the past,” said Marketing Director Ryan Thiel, “but we wanted to move away from a typical sales event and keep the focus on those who gave everything for our freedom and their families.”
Test Drive Results
After the event, the totals were combined from all 12 Van Horn locations throughout Wisconsin and Iowa equaling 221 test drives and a donation of $4,420. “We believe one of the best ways we can honor our fallen heroes who made the ultimate sacrifice for our country is to invest in the future of those they loved most in the world: their children,” notes David Kim, co-founder and CEO of Children of Fallen Patriots Foundation. “Through their Memorial Day campaign, Van Horn Automotive Group has generated awareness for our mission and raised over $4,400 in funding for our Gold Star scholars. We couldn’t be more honored to receive Van Horn Automotive Group’s support.”
Thanks for Driving
Lastly, the Van Horn family would like to thank everyone that came out to test drive a vehicle. Whether it was a car someone was possibly interested in purchasing or a ride in a convertible, we appreciate everyone that came out.
A new structure provides defined leadership roles positioned for growth.
Teresa Van Horn has been promoted to co-Chief Executive Officer (CEO), and will share ownership duties with co-CEO and brother, Chuck Van Horn. Chuck states, “Teresa’s steady leadership and unwavering commitment to the Auto Group and the communities it serves propelled her into this role.” Her previous role was Chief Operating Officer (COO) for Van Horn Automotive Group.
Dick Strong will take over as Chief Operating Officer, adding to his role as Group President; a position he’s held since 2013. “With almost 40 years of experience in all areas of the auto business, there is no challenge that Dick hasn’t seen many times before,” says co-CEO Chuck Van Horn. “He is intimately connected to every detail of our complex business, and demands a high moral standard of himself, which is reflected by all those who work and deal with him.”
General Council Basil Buchko will accept the role of Executive VP – Legal and Compliance, and will continue to provide legal representation and direction for Van Horn Automotive Group. Chief Financial Officer Tom Stocco will also increase his role as Executive VP – Finance and Real Estate Operations. “As we expand our footprint to include more dealerships, retail finance and insurance as well as real estate development, it becomes more important to have strong legal and financial leadership for all Van Horn holdings,” says new COO Dick Strong. “In just the last three years, both Basil and Tom have been integral constituents in Van Horn’s growth.”
Adam Gaedke has escalated from his position of Platform Vice President to Executive Vice President of Dealership Operations. In this new role, Gaedke will optimize the efficiency of sales and service operations at all Van Horn dealerships. “Adam brings a clear, tenured vision of the culture; a transparent customer experience we want to impress upon anyone who deals with us,” says co-CEO Chuck Van Horn. “He is a positive leader, who treats everyone with respect and integrity, and instills the same values in his people.”
Mark Watson will serve as the Vice President of Operations for Wisconsin Dealer Services. “As a former Finance Director and Sales Vice President with a passion for training others, Mark’s energy and drive for continuous improvement made this appointment an easy decision,” says new co-CEO Teresa Van Horn.
Four Platform Directors have been assigned to oversee the performance of Van Horn dealerships; aligned by factory brand. They will be responsible for managing positive relationships with automobile manufacturers in executing program goals, and build strong teams to achieve profitability. Justin Stanford – Platform Director, FCA (Fiat Chrysler Automobiles) dealerships. Kyle Fale – Platform Director, Hyundai dealerships, Brad Knight – Platform Director, Ford dealerships. Jeff Niesen – Platform Director, Chevrolet and Mazda dealerships as well as Van Horn Budget and Van Horn Latino used car dealerships.
Chuck Van Horn adds “This realignment of senior management will create a greater economy of scale for the entire organization. As we expand, we will be readily equipped to handle more business with a high rate of operational efficiency and expense control.”
On Saturday, May 5, 2018, Van Horn Hyundai of Fond du Lac held a Test Drive Fundraiser for a local youth named Kevin Kollmann. Kevin was born with Cerebral Palsy and is an honor roll student at Fond du Lac High School. He is planning to attend UW Whitewater to pursue a degree in Science Education. Kevin needs a wheelchair accessible vehicle that will allow him to drive to work and school.
Van Horn’s Test Drive Event brought in over $1,000 for Kevin’s cause. In addition to the test drives, Sunny 97.7 and Rock 95 & 96-1 the Rock were on location with giveaways, as well as Ang an Eddie’s Chicago Style Hot Dog Cart, who graciously donated 10% of their profits. It was a beautiful, sunny day, and Kevin had a great time riding with some of his fan’s during their test drives.
Brett Fosdick, Sales Manager at US Cellular, was the lucky recipient of the Pay-it-Forward award. He chose to pay it forward to Meals on Wheels of Sheboygan County, Inc. He stated that he chose Meals on Wheels of Sheboygan County because “they have helped out a peer of mine who was in need in the past. I believe it’s a great service for people who aren’t able to leave the confines of their homes to be able to get meals delivered to their homes.”
Van Horn has sponsored the Pay-it-Forward donation for the past four years, benefiting other local organizations such as the Sharon S. Richardson Community Hospice, the Sheboygan County Cancer Care Fund, and RCS Empowers Inc.
Teresa Van Horn believes it is very important as a pillar of the communities we live to give back to the community and support one another. “We have been very fortunate to have the support of our communities these past 50 years. Pay-it-forward gives us the opportunity to say thank you and give the community the additional opportunity to help each other out. The support that communities receive from our business and the many other businesses will help us to continue to grow and remain strong for the future,” says Van Horn.
This past summer Van Horn Automotive Group purchased various livestock raised through the 4H program at the Ozaukee and Sheboygan County fairs. We had the meat processed and offered it to our employees in exchange for a donation to our local food pantries. Donations were made to the Plymouth Food Pantry, Kewaskum Food Pantry, Peter's Pantry, Fondy Food Pantry, Hunger Task Force, Stoughton Food Pantry, Oconomowoc Food Pantry, and the Sheboygan Food Pantry. Van Horn Automotive Group proudly supports our community food pantries and our local 4H programs.
|Representatives from the Plymouth Food Pantry, Exhibitors from local 4H programs, and Ryan Thiel from Van Horn Automotive Group|
Bringing a wide selection of vehicles and new job opportunities
The location has a total lot size of almost 6 acres; capable of holding over 400 vehicles. A 32,000 square-foot, building includes an open-concept showroom and service center, complete with 10 service lifts. Roy Edwards will operate as the General Manager, bringing over 15 years of automotive business experience; most recently functioning as one of the top-performing general sales managers at the Van Horn Truck Center in Plymouth, WI. “This store has great visibility,” said Roy, “And the location allows us the serve the Highway 41 corridor from the Fox Valley south to Milwaukee.”