CHEYENNE — The Ken Garff Automotive Group announced Monday it has purchased Spradley Barr’s Ford, Hyundai and Toyota dealerships in Cheyenne, and doors officially reopened under their name.
Operating at the same Spradley Barr locations on Westland Road, the Ken Garff dealerships will continue to provide vehicles to the community from these three national brands.
“Cheyenne is a growing market, and we are proud to make our first entry into Wyoming into such a wonderful city,” said Brett Hopkins, CEO of Ken Garff Automotive Group. “Expanding the Ken Garff footprint will provide excellent vehicle-buying experiences to shoppers in the region.”
The automotive group was established 89 years ago in Utah and is a third-generation, family-owned business. The total dealership count across the United States is now 61 with the acquisition, concentrated primarily in western states.
Along with the first purchases for the group in Cheyenne, it acquired two Ford-Lincoln stores in Fort Collins and Greeley, Colorado. Hopkins said it is an effort to invest in the Front Range market, which he and other leaders in the business are excited about.
“When the opportunity presented itself, we were 100% onboard,” said Hopkins.
Hopkins said the Spradley Barr automotive group has been a well-respected staple in Cheyenne, and he hopes he can continue the legacy with the acquisition.
The transition began last Thursday when the Spradley Barr signs were taken down from the three dealerships and employees started moving through a new orientation. Hopkins said he is excited about the fact that not only are the facilities top-notch in Cheyenne but the employees and management are highly experienced and part of the dealerships’ success.
The Ken Garff Automotive Group hired every employee previously working at the Spradley Barr dealerships, and kept on Kevin Harris, the general manager. The only changes made to employee structure were the addition of a new human resources manager and Regional Vice President Chris Franks.
Harris said he was pleased to learn the Cheyenne team of 140 employees will be sticking together, and he will have the opportunity to hire 20 more over the next year.
“As employees, we were super excited when we heard that we were being acquired by an organization that thinks like we do,” said Harris.
He said the business is community-minded and employee-centric, which will provide many benefits for the dealerships. Employees will have access to more affordable health insurance options, retirement resources, and a larger network to connect with.
Customers in Cheyenne will also gain more assistance through updated technology and streamlining efforts at the dealerships. Harris said the acquisition is a win-win for the employees and the community.
“I just anticipate us being able to grow our customer base and our footprint in this community with regard to the customers we serve,” Harris said.
The mantra of the Ken Garff Automotive Group for customers is “We Hear You,” and Hopkins said that will stand true in Cheyenne. He also wants to remind members of the community that another value of the company, outside of selling cars, is being “here” for them.
He said Spradley Barr had similar values, and they plan to uphold the trend of community engagement and support.
“We’re just excited to be able to fill their shoes and hopefully carry the torch,” said Hopkins.
Monday’s announcement follows the completion, earlier this summer, of a $4.3 million renovation and expansion of the Toyota showroom and service center.
Jasmine Hall is the Wyoming Tribune Eagle’s education reporter. She can be reached by email at email@example.com or by phone at 307-633-3167. Follow her on Twitter @jasminerhphotos and on Instagram @jhrose25.