Phil Huckaba is a startling counterpoint to his boss, Mike Mahaffey. While Mahaffey appears outwardly cheery with an 'everything's great' attitude, the strain of closing their Oldsmobile dealership is more apparent on Huckaba's face.
For 11 years, Huckaba was the general sales manager at Hatfield Oldsmobile and used-car sales manager for both Mahaffey's Olds and Honda operations. Since Mahaffey closed the Oldsmobile store, Huckaba has been running used-car sales at the Honda store.
Huckaba, 49, says he was on his way to work when he heard the news on the radio that GM was killing Oldsmobile. He called it shocking.
The old dealership is just a few hundred feet from the Honda store where Huckaba now works. The married father of four doesn't have to strain much to look through the large plate glass windows to see what's going on next door.
As Huckaba watches workers convert the former Oldsmobile showroom into a Ford store, he winces. 'It's like coming home, and someone else is living in your house,' he says.
It doesn't take long for him to change gears once the subject of competition is broached. He instantly loses the sympathetic scowl and reverts to his salesman's game face.
How will he like the competition sitting right across the lot? He'll hate it, he says, especially because it will be in his own territory.
In an instant, those years of selling Oldsmobiles fade into memory as Huckaba hawks his new product. 'You couldn't have a better car to sell than a Honda.'