TEX EARNHARDT CELEBRATES 65 YEARS IN THE AUTOMOBILE BUSINESS SEPTEMBER 4, 2016
Tex Earnhardt, one of the most recognized personalities in the southwest, will celebrate his 65th anniversary in the automobile business on September 4, 2016. Tex, 85, the founder of Earnhardt Auto Centers, grew up in southern Texas. Before moving to Arizona and getting into the automobile business, he was a professional rodeo cowboy, a career that was fun, but shy on financial rewards. In 1951, when Tex was twenty years old, he joined his family in moving to Arizona. Tex started a gas station in Chandler and soon expanded to selling auto parts and eventually opened a new Ford dealership. The original Chandler dealership started one car at a time—literally. Tex could afford to stock only one car. They didn’t pick another car to display until the first car sold.
Over the years, both the dealerships and Tex’ persona grew. He became widely known for his great deals and as the cowboy car dealer who rode a bull. Tex’ trademark slogan “that ain’t no bull” was the ultimate truth in advertising. The “bull” he rode in the commercials was really a steer.
Tex’s sons, Hal and Jim Babe, eventually joined him in the business as did several of his grandchildren. Today the Earnhardt family is at the helm of the Southwest’s largest automotive empire; a business that now has nearly 3,000 employees. From its humble beginnings in 1951 of selling one to two vehicles a month, the organization now sells over 48,000 vehicles a year.
The Earnhardt automobile organization sells 18 different automobile brands: Buick, GMC, Cadillac, Chevrolet, Chrysler, Jeep, Dodge, Ram, Ford, Honda, Hyundai, Kia,Lexus, Maserati, Mazda, Toyota, Scion and Volkswagen. Their 22 dealerships are located in the Arizona cities of Phoenix, Mesa, Chandler, Scottsdale, Gilbert, Goodyear, Avondale, Peoria, Prescott Valley as well as 2 new locations in Las Vegas, Nevada.
Being committed to excellence is one of the reasons for the extraordinary success of Earnhardt Auto Centers. Tex’s favorite tongue in cheek maxim has always been, “being second is being the first loser”. Many of the Earnhardt automobile franchises are number one in retail sales and/or customer satisfaction at the national, regional or state level. In a World where many of the largest automotive groups are owned by big business, the Earnhardt organization is one of the few holdouts and remains family-owned and operated since 1951.
When asked what he attributes his success to, Tex said, “the harder you work, the luckier you get”. The Earnhardt’s have demonstrated over a long time that they can build a business in an industry that has its ‘ups and downs.’ Ever humble, Tex and his family credit much of their success to their top-notch managers and hard working employees.
What does the future hold for Earnhardt Auto Centers? According to Tex, “We will continue to expand, no question. There are many opportunities in the automotive industry right now and the key to our continued success is flexibility. In the 65 years that we have been in such a business with its many ups and downs, we have weathered the storms by continuing to think big and by spending to get and keep customers and employees. We pay the best, advertise the most, stay open the longest, and we promise and deliver the number one customer experience…..and that ain’t no bull!”
As part of Channel 12 News’ Week of Wishes, Earnhardt Scottsdale Lexus gives nursing student and single mom, Shannon McNamara a car after totaling her vehicle. Earnhardt Auto Centers and Earnhardt Scottsdale Lexus are proud to be apart of this feel-good moment. We wish Shannon the best of luck with her studies, success in her upcoming nursing career, and of course good health and happiness for her and her family.
In the world of sports, there are certain accomplishments most of us will never achieve in our lifetime: pitching a perfect game, knocking down a game-winning buzzer-beater, or scoring a hole-in-one. For 60-year-old Bill Mould of Ahwatukee, however, his shining moment came on May 26th, on the par three 15th, at Club West Golf Club.
The hole at the 15th sits several feet below the tee and is not visible from the box, so after taking his swing, Mould told the rest of his foursome that he thought he hit it well and felt it would be close. It wasn’t until his group approached the green, and saw the official giving the signal, that Bill realized the ball had gone in the hole.
“I was stunned!” said Mould, who, though an avid golfer, never before scored a hole-in-one. He was even more stunned to find out that sinking his shot came with a pretty hefty prize: a brand new 2012 Ford Focus from Earnhardt Ford in Chandler.
Bill stopped into the dealership this past Friday with Marsha Porter (one of the members of his foursome) to claim his prize.
“I was just there to support the troops,” said Mould, who had been participating in the U.S. War Veteran’s PTSD Foundation Golf Tournament. “I had no idea I would hit a hole-in-one or win a car.” The only down side to winning, he added, was the huge bar tab he incurred that day celebrating his spectacular shot.
The votes are in and the people have spoken. Earnhardt Auto Centers has been selected as the “Best Auto Dealership” in this year’s edition of the East Valley Tribune’s “Best of East Valley 2012“.
The annual “Best of” winners are chosen by the readers of the East Valley Tribune in categories ranging from the best pizza (Urban Legends Pizza Works) to the best place to tire out your kids (Superstition Farm).
Earnhardt Auto Centers would like to thank the readers of the East Valley Tribune for choosing us as your favorite place to buy a car. It has truly been an honor to serve the East Valley and to be part of the community for over 60 years, and we hope to continue to do so for many years to come. And that ain’t no bull!
To view Earnhardt’s “Best of” award and to see who else made the list, visit bestof.eastvalleytribune.com