Welcome to Garber Chevrolet!
When Garber Chevrolet was acquired by the Garber Automotive Group back in 1991, it became part of a generational tradition that goes all the way back to 1907. At that time, Michigan resident Guy S. Garber laid a solid foundation—based on quality, trust and hard work—for what has now become one of the most successful automotive groups in the nation. Over the years, the business has been handed down from generation to generation, and today Guy Garber’s grandson, Richard Garber, Jr., is in charge of the automotive group.
During the 25-year period that Garber Chevy has been part of the Garber Auto Group, the core values of the company have helped to foster a culture where the needs and desires of our customers in Freeland, Bay City, Saginaw, Mt. Pleasant, and beyond always come first, following the Garber mission statement: “We’re only doing our jobs when we create an experience for the customers for which they choose to return and do business with us again.”
This all starts with a perfect customer service experience and an uncompromising inventory of high quality new, used, and certified pre-owned vehicles. It continues with a friendly and helpful customer service team whose main goal is always to see our customers get the vehicle they want. Add to our state-of-the-art service department staffed by certified professionals, and you’ve almost got the full equation in place. Topping it off, though, is our essential list of company values: Honesty, Respect, Empathy, Integrity, Pride, and Work Ethic.
It is the vision of the Garber Automotive Group “to be the BEST automotive sales and repair operation in every market we serve,” and we continue to make strides to ensure that is always the case at Garber Chevrolet.
“To be the BEST automotive sales and repair operation in every market we serve.”
“We’re only doing our jobs when we create an experience for the customers for which they choose to return and do business with us again.”
Respect: To show consideration and honor for each other.
Empathy: To be able to understand another’s position.
Pride: Sense of self-worth. Making a difference in people’s lives.
Work Ethic: Working as a team to meet or exceed expectations.
HISTORY OF THE COMPANY
The year was 1907 and many thought that the horse and buggy would continue to be the way to travel. One notable exception was a young farm implement salesman of exceptional ability and bold vision. His name was Guy S. Garber, and he saw the automobile as the vehicle to the future.
Growing up in the Lansing area, his reputation as a salesman brought him to the attention of William C. Durant, founder of General Motors. At his urging, Guy Garber became a factory representative for Buick Motor Division. During his first six months he established one dealership, in Battle Creek Michigan. His responsibility was the management of the day-to-day operations.
His success there brought him to take on a greater challenge, coming to Saginaw in 1910 representing Buick. This was to become the key to his success with Buick and General Motors…. lasting a lifetime. Guy Garber shared the vision of the GM founder: America was headed for a golden automotive era.
Guy Garber’s long and productive affiliation with GM lasted nearly 60 years, through the great depression and two world wars. During that time Garber married Hazel Denyes and began a family which would eventually number four sons and two daughters; Jack, Maxine, Richard, Guy Jr. (Ike), Jane and Robert.
As the oldest family-owned Buick dealership in the United States, the Garbers have always conducted a unique relationship with GM’s Buick Motor Division. In its early years Garber Buick Company became a GM model for salesmanship, efficiency and service to the customer.
Years ago it was written that Guy S. Garber has but one hobby and that is service. “He lives service, breathes service and practices service. His predominant business policy is to render such uniformly satisfying service that there shall not be a single dissatisfied Buick owner in the 30 counties comprising his territory.” Said Guy S. Garber, “Service does not mean something for nothing, but it does mean prompt, efficient and courteous attention at a fair price.” This founding business philosophy thrives today in the mission statement for Garber Buick.
When automotive pioneer Guy S. Garber died on December 5, 1965 at the age of 81, Michigan’s first Buick distributorship became the nation’s last Buick distributorship. An important piece of automotive history had passed away.
Richard Garber, Sr., son of Guy Garber, who had been actively managing Garber Buick Company, became president and owner until his death in 1972. Like his father, Richard was a civic leader in every sense of the word.
Richard Garber was succeeded by Norman F. Geyer as president. Norm Geyer was married to Maxine Garber and was a son-in-law to Guy Garber. He was a dedicated, honest, and respected individual with high values. With over 25 years of experience with the organization, the majority as service director, Norm was knowledgeable in all aspects of the dealership operation. As president, he successfully guided the Buick store for eight years, during the trying times of the 1970’s, until he passed the torch to Richard J. Garber Jr., in 1980.
Richard J. Garber, Jr., was the third generation to take the helm of the company in its 73rd year of operation. When he became president, he was the youngest Buick dealer for a dealership of its size in the nation. Since that time the organization has grown to 16 dealerships located in four states, Michigan, Florida, Illinois and New York.
The organization today is a long way from the 1907 version, but important traditions live on: dedication to service, a loyal staff and a forward-looking vision. One that echoes in the spirit of a young farm implement salesman who took thousands of mid-Michigan area residents out of the buggy and put them behind the wheel.
Garber Chevrolet is a part of the Garber Automotive Group
Garber Automotive Group is led by owner and President, Richard J. Garber and Vice President and Secretary/Treasurer, Patrick Hengesbach. The Management Group also employs a Controller and supporting staff.
The Organization today consists of 18 dealerships representing 16 franchises. Nine dealerships are located in the Midwest.
- Garber Buick – Saginaw, MI (Flagship dealership, established in 1907.)
- Garber Nissan Hyundai – Saginaw, MI (Acquired in 1986)
- Garber Chevrolet – Midland, MI (Acquired in 1991)
- Sunrise Chevrolet – Glendale Heights, IL (Acquired in 1997)
- Garber Chrysler Dodge Jeep Ram – Saginaw, MI (Opened in March 2011)
- Garber Chevrolet Linwood – Linwood, MI (Acquired in 2015)
- Garber Fox Lake Toyota – Fox Lake, IL (Acquired in 2016)
- Garber Chevrolet Saginaw – Saginaw, MI (Acquired in 2017)
- Curtis Garber Chevrolet Cadillac – Caro, MI (Acquired in 2017)
Six dealerships are located in Florida.
Garber Automall is located in Green Cove Springs, Florida, 10 miles south of Jacksonville and includes the following franchises:
- Garber Ford (Acquired in 1986)
- Garber Chevrolet Buick GMC (Acquired in 1994)
- Garber Chrysler Dodge Jeep Ram (Acquired in 1997)
One dealership is located in Bradenton, Florida.
- Nissan of Bradenton (Acquired in 2018)
One dealership is located in Delray Beach, Florida.
- Delray Buick GMC (Acquired in 2013)
One dealership is located in Ft. Pierce, Florida.
- Garber Buick GMC of Ft. Pierce (Acquired in 2013)
Our three dealerships in Rochester, New York include the following 4 franchises:
- Garber Honda (Acquired in 2011)
- Acura of Rochester (Acquired in 2011)
- Porsche of Rochester (Acquired in 2011)
- Audi Rochester (Acquired in 2011)
One dealerships is located in Bluffton, South Carolina.
- Hilton Head Buick GMC Cadillac (Acquired in 2018)
Together the dealerships generate over $1 billion in sales annually and employ over 1700 people nationally. The organization has also expanded its business with the formation of RightWay Automotive Credit; a sub-prime used vehicle retail operation with over 25 locations in five states, and its own affiliated finance company, Gateway Financial Solutions.
Continued growth is planned for the organization, which makes recruiting, selecting and training high potential candidates our highest priority. Entry-level opportunities are available in Michigan, Illinois, New York and Florida. For the right candidate, a management training program is available.