The Sames family is in its fourth generation of selling cars in Laredo, Texas. To many people, the name Sames is synonymous with Ford - the line the family has sold since 1910. The dealership uses the phrase, "Texas' Oldest Dealership" in its advertising.
But there were times when the business, now Sames Motor Co., could have dissolved instead of being passed on, says owner Harry Sames III, known as Hank.
Hank Sames says he and previous generations have taken steps to ensure the company will keep rolling- whether or not it remains in the family. The dealership sells Ford, took on Lincoln and Mercury in the early 1960s and added Mazda in 1978. Next door is Sames Honda, which was added in 1995. The business serves a diverse population along the Mexican border.
Lessons that the current president and his father learned prompted them to take steps to increase the chances of continued family success.
A family member who wants to join the dealership first must work for two years at a job outside the dealership to acquire an understanding of having a boss, being an employee and being successful.
Sames also has put his children to work as teenagers in jobs from sweeping floors to detailing cars. And they must start in a position appropriate to their skills and prove themselves. If they are interested in coming into the dealership, they will be considered.