Kenai men take Chevy dealership wheel
The Kenai businessmen bought the 13-year-old Lewis Motors from Harley Lewis and Chuck Wescott and changed its name to Capital Chevrolet.
Bob Favretto and managing partner Rob Skinner closed the deal Feb. 16 after about nine months of negotiations. The selling price was not disclosed.
Favretto owns the Kenai Chrysler Center where Skinner was sales manager.
The Kenai dealership, when it was bought five years ago, was very similar to Lewis Motors, Favretto said. The Kenai dealership did $7 million to $8 million a year in sales when it was bought. Last year, the business did about $21 million in sales, he said.
Capital Chevrolet will be run by Skinner, who plans to revamp the business, hiring more sales people and spreading the word that buying locally is competitive with going Outside, he said. He helped Favretto’s dealership do much the same thing in Kenai and they managed to double employment and triple payroll in five years, Skinner said.
"It was much the same as here," he said.
"(Capital Chevrolet) has got tremendous growth opportunity," Favretto said.
Skinner said he hopes to increase business much like the Kenai store.
"We’ll do it through community involvement," he said.
Trying to get people to buy locally is nothing new for the local car dealerships.
"That’s not a revolutionary concept," said John Holmquist, owner of Evergreen Ford of Juneau. It’s an ongoing battle because some people always want to shop Outside, he said.
Holmquist said he welcomes the owners and believes competition will make everybody better.