CHAMPLAIN — Some call it the end of an era; some call it the start of something new.
Either way, it will take Parker Chevrolet customers in Champlain some time to get used to the dealership’s new name: Goss Chevrolet.
On October 19, it was announced that longtime owner Rolla Parker would be retiring and selling his family business.
FIND THE RIGHT BUYER
Parker, who had been in the auto business for 44 years and had begun to disagree on the direction he was taking, felt it was a good time to move on.
But before that, he wanted to find a buyer with similar philosophies to run a business.
“We had a few people interested, but I really didn’t like the way their businesses were run, they were run more like a big business and I always ran that because my employees were more like family than employees. “, says Parker.
“And I wanted to make sure they would get a good deal too.”
DOING IT THE RIGHT WAY
He found that “bargain” in Brian Hoar, owner of Goss Chrysler, Dodge, Ram and Jeep in Burlington, Vt., who officially took over Parker Chevrolet and renamed it Goss Chevrolet on November 2.
“Everyone is more about money than the right way, and I think the people that we eventually sold to, I think they’re also thinking about family,” Parker said. “I had very little turnover. A lot of people who worked with us, they worked with us, they didn’t work for us. »
“I wanted to make sure they weren’t sitting in limbo like a lot of other stores that are selling out and all of a sudden the first thing they do is get rid of a bunch of people and start over from the beginning. All of these folks have been here for a number of years and I wanted to make sure they were treated properly, and the Goss family dealerships really hit that spot on the head. I was very comfortable selling them… it’s going to be a great wedding.
Hoar reiterated that Parker’s established team was a big reason the dealership was so attractive to buy.
“I had a desire to find another dealer to expand my portfolio a bit and the opportunity came back through the broker to let me know there is potential that Parkers would be willing to sell to the right person,” did he declare. “and it really ticked all the boxes for me.”
“The facility is beautiful…Team Parker is a great team and they really performed at a high level by General Motor standards. They have an excellent reputation. »
ONLY SUBTLE CHANGES
And for these reasons, customers shouldn’t expect to see many changes in the way business has operated.
“I’m not going there to make a lot of changes to the way they operate. Most of the changes are subtle changes for accounting purposes only, so that’s behind the scenes as far as consumers are concerned,” Hoar added.
Some goals, however, will revolve around advancing the dealership and continuing to expand electric vehicle sales.
Hoar also said he wants to continue being involved in the community like the Parker family has always been, but he said they will focus more on that when Goss Chevrolet has its grand opening after Jan. 1.
“We just want to make sure we have all of our systems in place that we need,” he said.
“I still work with Rolla and all the ways they have supported the community, it’s very important to me that we continue their legacy.”
“ALWAYS A PARKER THERE”
But even though Rolla won’t be at the dealership regularly now, he reassured that other family members like his brother, daughter and son will.
“The only change is that I’m the only one not here anymore,” he said. “So you walk in and there’s always a Parker there.”
In the meantime, Parker said he is adjusting well to retirement.
In just two weeks, he got busy buying new clothes and paying to get rid of his own rubbish, he joked.
“The first week my plan was to clean out my closet, because I looked in my closet and I only had three or four nice button-down dress shirts, but I had 34 that had ‘Parker Chevrolet’ on it. on it. So what am I going to do with them? So the first thing, instead of cleaning out the closet, I had to go buy more clothes,” he said with a laugh.
“Today I took the trash to the dumpster and this is the first time in 30 years that I’ve paid for it out of my own pocket, as I used to put it in the dealership’s dumpster , so it was $3.50 – on that fixed income, it’s kind of scary.