Before Richard Allen bought the Classic of Denton car dealership in 2004, the previous owner sold 463 cars in 2003. Ten years later, in 2013, the dealership sold 3,149.
“I knew the store was going to be a winner ever since the day I walked in here,” Allen said. “We’ve got a little bit of a different type of business, we do it the old way. I’d rather have a handshake and a promise than someone trying to squeeze a deposit out of them. We just do business the old country way, and it works well in this city.”
Classic of Denton celebrated the 10th anniversary of the business last month, which will be celebrated all year, said general manager Rick Wick, who has been with the dealership since February 2005.
When he began, the dealership sold Lincoln Mercury, Mazda and Isuzu vehicles. In 2009, the dealership became Chrysler, Dodge, Jeep and Ram, and stayed with Mazda as well, Allen said. This helped the store sell a much higher volume of vehicles, he said.
The business also started with 29 employees, and 11 are still with the company. Now, it has 103 employees.
“It’s just a prime example of how we take care of our employees,” Wick said. “People have fun and like working here.”
Part of the philosophy is also to take care of the community, Wick said. Throughout the years, the business has been a member of local chambers of commerce, a sponsor of the North Texas Fair and Rodeo and helped with the Our Daily Bread soup kitchen and the SpiritHorse Therapeutic Center in Corinth.
There are plans to continue expanding, Allen said, and the business just bought 10 acres across the street to put in a used-car super center and storage. With the way the economy locally is continuing to grow, Allen said he is confident his business and others will continue strong growth patterns.
“I knew this was a sleeping giant, I really did,” Allen said. “The economy in Denton is probably one of the best economies in the entire state of Texas. It’s getting bigger and expanding more and more every day.”
JENNA DUNCAN can be reached at 940-566-6889 and via Twitter at @JennaFDuncan.