History of Tom Bush Volkswagen
The Bush family has been in the automobile business since 1918 when Tom Bush Sr. opened his first dealership in Graetna, LA. Tom Bush Sr. moved around the country, opening Ford dealerships in New Orleans, Atlanta, San Antonio, and El Paso before settling in Carlsbad, NM with a Chrysler/GMC dealership. Mr. Bush Sr. remained in the automobile business for thirty-five years until he and his wife retired in 1953.
Tom Bush, Jr. (Mr. B) grew up in the automobile business, but had no intention of joining the industry. A World War II Navy veteran, Mr. B attended Georgia Tech, studying aeronautical engineering. After the war, he married Laura Russ, his Gulfport, MS high-school sweetheart and opened a Nash dealership in Carlsbad. They were in competition with his father who had a Chrysler dealership at the time. Mr. B also expanded his business to include a Ford dealership in neighboring Hobbs, but he was eager to return to the South. Mr. B arrived in Jacksonville in 1969 and opened a Volkswagen dealership in 1970. His son, Thomas joined the company in 1972. Father and son added Mazda in 1974, a second Mazda location in 1977 (Mazda City) and opened a BMW dealership in 1980. Autoplex was added in 2000 and a MINI Cooper dealership in 2002.
Mr. B’s younger son, John P. Bush, joined the company in 1986 after pursuing a career in computers and business management. Mr. B passed away in July 2005, leaving the company in John’s very capable hands. John Bush, as President and CEO has expanded our customer base and navigated the company successfully into today’s competitive business environment. John has recently completed renovating an on-campus building into a BMW Certified Pre-Owned sales and service center. He has most recently supervised the construction of a second BMW location in Orange Park that he and his father designed together. The Orange Park BMW store had its Grand Opening in November 2006.
All of the Tom Bush family members have worked in the dealership. John’s brother, Tom, worked 20 years in the business until 1992 when he followed his love of training into school teaching. All of the children and wives of the family have at one time or another worked in the business.
Whether a customer purchased a car from Tom Bush, Sr. in 1918, or is purchasing a car today from one of the Tom Bush dealerships, the buyer becomes part of the family. We treat our employees how we expect them to treat our customers, with honor and integrity. As Mr. B repeatedly said, “the most important part of business is people. Treat everyone with respect, be a man of your word, ask yourself if the business transaction is fair to everyone involved, and nurture long-term relationships. Think of your employees as family members as they are the life-blood of a dealership.”
Services: Auto Dealerships
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