A Sioux City, Iowa, family-owned car dealership of 45 years soon will have a new owner. Effective Jan. 14, the Woodhouse Auto Family will take over Charlie Zook Motors.
Charlie Zook Motors president Bruce Zook said he wasn’t looking for a buyer, but it was a family operation and neither of his two children — one is in college, the other in high school — are interested in the car business.
Terms of the deal were not disclosed. But Lisa Cole, marketing director for Woodhouse, called Zook’s operation a great deal.
“When great deals come about and they make sense to us and fit our family needs, we look at it,” she said.
Cole noted that the purchase brings the number of Woodhouse’s dealerships to 10.
Woodhouse, based in Blair, Neb., also operates Chrysler, Dodge and Jeep as well as a separate Ford dealership in Blair; Nissan in Bellevue; Ford in Plattsmouth; Chevy and Buick in Missouri Valley; and three in Omaha: Lincoln, Mazda and Porsche.
The Zook operation adds two stand-alone dealerships: one sells Chrysler, Dodge, Jeep and Ram automobiles and the other sells Hyundais and Mitsubishis.
Nearly all of the Zook dealership’s 65 employees will stay on when ownership officially switches hands, Zook said, but he will be seeking other employment.
“I don’t know what I’m going to do yet,” he said.
Zook’s father, Charlie Zook, opened the dealership in 1967 with a Dodge franchise. Two years later, they built a new store as part of an urban renewal project. Other franchises were added through the years, including Chrysler/Plymouth in 1982, Mitsubishi in 1992, Jeep in 2000 and Hyundai in 2006.
“I loved working initially for and later with Dad,” Zook said.
The business collected a number of awards through the years. In 1998, the dealership was selected as the Siouxland Chamber of Commerce Small Business of the Year. A year later, Charlie Zook was selected as a quality dealer award winner through the National Automobile Dealers Association.
Zook said he’ll miss the people, particularly the customers and the social aspect of going to work everyday.
“Some family businesses work and some don’t,” he said. “Ours was fun.”
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