Late last year, the owners of Marmie Ford and Marmie Motors in Great Bend, Kansas had the opportunity to expand their enterprise by purchasing the Doonan GMC Dealership. And now, two months later, the family owned business is excited to announce the acquisition of Dove Chevrolet Buick Cadillac as well.
“It has been a whirlwind of a year, but with two great opportunities to expand our business and keep these companies and dollars local, we just couldn’t pass them up. When we were approached by Kenny and then by Rob about purchasing their dealerships, from a business perspective it just made sense,” says Desa Marmie Behr, third generation in the automobile business. “Both of these companies had exceptional reputations for customer service and we didn’t want to see the jobs and the management go to an out-of-town company that may not always keep this community’s best interests at heart. We believe strongly in Great Bend, and are willing and proud to invest in its future. We are looking forward to welcoming all of their employees into our team, and will embrace their talents and experience.”
The Marmie family’s legacy in the auto industry started when Eustace Marmie first opened his car dealership in 1961. His sons, Jerry and David, have operated the business for several decades, and now Dave’s daughter Desa Marmie Behr and her husband Shawn Behr along with CFO Jason Mayers are picking up the reigns and bringing new opportunities to their customers. “We will focus on giving the consumer a straight forward, low pressure, and very transparent buying experience. We hope to expand on the current inventory levels, and have a great selection of varying options and price ranges,” says Shawn Behr, who will assume the General Manager responsibilities for the west location. “We will work hard to earn the business of past and future customers alike, and will continue to prioritize service - before, during, and after the sale.”
Marmie Auto Group currently employs 100 people between full time and part time employees, and the addition of the Dove’s and GMC employees will bring over 20 new members to that team. Employees of the newly acquired dealerships will enjoy better benefit programs and the security of working for a locally owned company that values their experience and their customer relationships. It is for this reason that Rob Dove was pleased to sell his family’s three generation business to the Marmies. “I can remember a time in 1977 right after I started working for the dealership when my Dad, Dee Dove, came into my office and asked me what kind of business we were in. I said ‘the car business’ and he told me to go home and think about it,” Rob recalls. “The next day, he asked me the same question, and then explained that we are in the PEOPLE business. The same way that I have been groomed and trained in this industry, so have Desa and Shawn. We have always gotten along with the Marmies, and I am confident that they will do a great job taking care of our customers.”
Rob and his wife, Trisha, will be retiring at the end of March to spend more time with family and on hobbies they enjoy. Rob plans to spend time farming, fishing, woodworking, and making memories with their four grandchildren. “Success in this business, especially in a rural setting, is impossible without customer satisfaction,” Dove says. “The Marmie team’s success is obvious, and it’s because they get it. I am thrilled that they are the ones buying our dealership.”
Marmie Auto Group is based at the intersection of 10th Street and Kansas Avenue in Great Bend, with an impressive inventory of new, used, and program pre-owned certified Ford, Lincoln, Chrysler, Dodge, Ram, and Jeep vehicles to choose from. The new Marmie Chevrolet Buick GMC Cadillac dealership will be located at 4217 W. 10th Street. Learn more about the Marmie Auto Group on their website, www.marmies.net, or by calling 800-239-7840.