Keeping the business in the family is the best way to go. That is the opinion of the heads of 10 dealerships or dealer groups queried by Automotive News. No sibling rivalries or jealousies came to light, and, as Al Gossett phrased it, working together 'has been one big, long barrel of fun.'
Gossett, his brother, David Gossett, and Al's son, Brian Gossett, operate three stores in Memphis, Tenn.
'I wish I had more brothers,' says Sean Lawley, who has four dealerships in Arizona. His younger brother, Tom Lawley, is training to take over one of them.
Cyndie and Richard Mynatt head General Motors outlets in Concord, N.C., as part of their father's Ben Mynatt GM Megastore. They share some operations, but they are stiff competitors. 'I love my sister, and I hate my competition,' Richard says.
Every business day is sort of a family reunion at Dalgleish Cadillac-Oldsmobile Inc. in Detroit. Charles Dalgleish Jr. and Douglas Dalgleish Sr. are brothers and partners, and 10 family members work there either full-time or part-time. It's a four-generation dealership that dates back to 1933 when Charles Dalgleish Sr. formed Charlie's Nash. He was the world's largest Nash dealer when he switched to Cadillac and Olds in 1954.
Siblings Jeff, Todd and Jill Green and their brother-in-law, Tim Dresing, run the six Illinois dealerships established by Ray Green, the 1990 president of the National Automobile Dealers Association.
It's a harmonious setup, but disagreements do arise. How do they handle them? Jill, jokingly, has the answer. 'Jeff sulks. Todd ignores the problem,' she says. 'I call Dad and tell on them if I don't get my way.'