"Our Dealership has built a reputation on providing courteous, honest service. Our customers appreciate the way we do business, and we know you will too. Take a moment to read the info below and find out what makes us an exceptional place to buy or service your automobile."
THE HISTORY OF McKENNEY DEALERSHIPS
In July of 1981, Ray McKenney purchased the outstanding shares of Don Anderson, who had formed the original dealership corporation a year earlier. The name was then changed to McKenney Chevrolet, Inc.
The beginning date is significant because it was during this time that the country was experiencing one of its worst recessions. Interest rates reached record highs and automobile sales were at record lows. All employees knew that their only chance was to find some way to survive on the service, parts and body shop operations since actual car and truck sales were so scarce.
The company has often advertised that “We built our business on better service” and this is literally true. Each employee had been trained to know that customer service is their top priority. This commitment to service paved the way to record sales and continued growth.
There are two things of which the company is most proud. First is its reputation for being honest and fair to its customers and its employees. Second is its commitment to the community and its needs.
In 1983, the Chrysler-Plymouth franchise was added and became the first step in the company’s record of growth. Also during this time it was recognized that expansion would bring diversity as well as lower operation costs. Both would be needed in order for the company to survive and compete in the changing marketplace.
As the company expanded it was realized that its customers and therefore its future, would be better served if each dealership location had a managing partner with ownership interest. This philosophy has been pivotal in its success.
In 1985, land purchased and previously used as a used car location was utilized to build a separate location for a full service Chrysler-Plymouth Dealership. Paul Lowrance, a previous salesperson and sales manager for our companies, was promoted to General Partner. Paul later purchased shares and became a Dealer-Partner. In 1988 Jeep- Eagle was added as a franchise and separate facility was built. Earl Walters became managing partner. In May of 1998, our Chrysler and Jeep stores were merged and became one corporation because Eagle and Plymouth had been dropped as brands by the factory. Paul Lowrance became a 50% partner in our Chrysler-Jeep Dealership.
The McKenney-Salinas Dealership was founded in September of 1990. Sal Salinas and Ray McKenney met with the representatives from Mitsubishi and assured them that their combined efforts would make Mitsubishi a hit in Gaston County. A brand new facility was built on the hottest corner of property in Gaston County. In September of 1993, Shirley Mullinax was named Chief Financial Officer and became an ownership partner in McKenney Chevrolet, Inc. This was done in recognition of her tremendous responsibility and her vital role in the past and future growth of our companies. Shirley oversees all accounting and clerical functions of all McKenney Dealerships and McKenney related companies. Sal and Ray continued their successful relationship and bought out the existing Honda Dealership in Gastonia.
McKenney-Salinas Honda began operations in June of 1994. Honda sales and service grew and a new state of the art facility was later built for our Honda store on property adjoining the Mitsubishi location. In 1998, the company began developing the seven acres next to our Chevrolet location. Our new Chrysler-Jeep sales facility was opened in May of 1999. This gave our Belmont dealerships over seventeen acres of prime frontage property on Wilkinson Boulevard. In June of 2004, the Craig family in Gastonia agreed to sell Ray McKenney the Dodge franchise. Ray McKenney, Paul Lowrance and Jace Stowe formed McKenney Dodge, LLC. Jace was chosen as Operation Partner. This Dodge acquisition allowed the McKenney Dealerships to now hold franchise rights for all Chrysler products in Gaston County. It also allowed the companies to serve all Chrysler owners from its two locations in Belmont and Gastonia. In April of 2008 Ray McKenney and Sal Salinas partnered with long time employee Don Willis Jr to purchase the local Honda Motorcycle dealership at 319 N. Broad Street in Gastonia.
The new business was named McKenney-Salinas Honda Powersports.
Because the building was to small and out of the way, they purchased a location at 4804 Wilkinson Blvd which was the old 84 Lumber building. After some renovations the business moved into the new location in December, 2008. In January 2009 the Montcross Chamber of Commerce awarded McKenney Dealerships "2008 Business of the Year". The award can be contributed to the employees of the McKenney Dealerships and their commitment to customer service. The Mckenney Dealerships have also made a commitment to the community and support many of the area charities, schools and organizations. January 2009 also brought about the purchase of Gastonia Pontiac Buick GMC and Sonny Hancock Chevrolet Cadillac. This was an economic move to have a stronger presence of General Motors in Gaston county.
The consolidation of these dealerships will keep the ownership within the community and a local owner that is concerned about it's well being. The consolidation will require McKenney Chevrolet to move to the Sonny Hancock location at 831 South Main St in Lowell, NC. The move to the new location began on February 18th. With the hard work and effort of all the employees, the dealership was open for business the morning of the 19th as McKenney Chevrolet-Buick-Pontiac-GMC-Cadillac. On May 6th the dealership celebrated their Grand Opening with a Ribbon Cutting and the unveiling of the 2010 Chevrolet Camaro. The accomplishments cited above reflect a proud heritage of loyal and dedicated employees.
The McKenney and McKenney-Salinas Dealerships celebrate a long tradition of having the best reputation for honest and fair business practices. It is management’s goal to provide each employee fair wages, excellent benefits, good working conditions and opportunities for each person’s future. We Hope You Will Join Us In Celebrating 28 Years of Service And Dedication.