Not long ago, Republic Industries Inc. completed its purchase of several Denver metropolitan area dealerships from Fred Emich, Marshall Chesrown and John Elway.
Such buyouts are a sign of the times, but George McCaddon, 78, a longtime dealer in Boulder, Colo., plans to stay put.
'We're pleased we're able to continue a strong, local business in the face of nearby consolidation and merger,' says McCaddon, of McCaddon Oldsmobile-Cadillac-Buick-GMC in Boulder. 'We've felt little effect from all that.'
McCaddon draws a considerable amount of business from the northern fringe of the Denver area. He says he is not ready to retire, but he does have a succession plan in place.
Estate planning, including transfer of ownership to his son and two daughters, began a number of years ago.
'Today, as stockholders, my son and two daughters own 51 percent of the business,' the elder McCaddon says. 'Since I'm not yet ready to retire, we have accomplished about all we can to this time.'
The daughters are Melinda Shapard and Jean Meredith of Boulder. His son, Mark, 42, is general manager and vice president of the dealership and has been involved in his father's dealership since he was 13.
George McCaddon has been a strong member of the Boulder business community for 40 years. He was born and reared in Denver and left his studies at the University of Denver to serve in World War II. After the war, he became associated with a large Oldsmobile and Cadillac operation in Kansas City.
McCaddon returned to Colorado in 1958 to purchase the Cadillac and Oldsmobile store in Boulder from Rush Motors. The business has grown steadily and, in 1987, the company built a 40,000-square-foot facility on a 6-acre site in the eastern part of the city.
'Acquiring the Buick and GMC franchises from Gebhardt Motors in 1990 was a great addition,' McCaddon says. 'The Buick full-sized line is very popular in these parts, but even more important was the addition of the GMC line. It enabled us to take advantage of the sport-utility boom of the past seven or eight years.'
McCaddon is widely recognized among Colorado business leaders. He served as president of the Colorado Automobile Dealers Association, headed the local Boulder association many times and was Time Magazine Quality Dealer Award winner for Colorado in 1978.
'I very much enjoy the dealer affiliations,' he says. 'The car business has been good for me, and still today I enjoy my work; it has been very worthwhile. In recent years, I've stayed away from sales, leaving that to the managers and salespeople, but I'm here every day and enjoy heading the business and talking with the customers.'
McCaddon gives much credit to strong effort from the employees for the continued success of the dealership, which has grown to a $55-million-a-year business. 'Some employees have been with me almost 40 years,' he says.
Son Mark is emphatic on the importance of the work force: 'If there's been any one key to success of the business over the years, it's that we've retained many good employees. We don't have much of a revolving door here, and the longevity and loyalty of our employee base makes us different from some of the other dealerships.'
The successor plan listing Mark McCaddon has been approved by General Motors officials. George McCaddon has not indicated when he may retire.
Says Mark: 'I'm privileged to be in line to follow a guy such as Dad. The business has done so well; it is my hope the next 40 years will be just as successful.'