GM approves sale of local dealership to Midway Motors


The transition from Irv Schroeder County Motors to Midway Motors has been a smooth one, according to Jan Schroeder, dealer of record for Irv?s, and Danny Flynn, the general manager for Midway. The purchase will be final when the paperwork arrives from GM in the next week or two.

General Motors has verbally approved the sale of Irv Schroeder County Motors in Hillsboro to Midway Motors based in McPherson.

Once the final paperwork comes through, which should be within one to two weeks, the transaction will be final, according Jan Schroeder, dealer of record for Irv Schroeder County Motors, and Danny Flynn, who will be general manager of the Hills?boro dealership for Midway.

?We?ve got the thumbs up verbally, but we don?t have all the corresponding paperwork,? Schroeder said. ?That?s all we?re waiting for.?

The two entities opened conversation about a year ago, and reached a legal agreement for the sale in spring. They have been waiting since then for GM headquarters to process the transition.

?GM is a very large corporation, and things move fairly slowly in large corporations,? Schroeder said. ?There are a lot of laws that apply to franchise agreements as well, and they need to be followed.?

A win-win-win deal

Both parties see the transition as a win-win situation not only for themselves, but also for Hillsboro and greater Marion County.

?We?ve really enjoyed being in the car business here in Hillsboro,? Schroeder said. ?Irv and Bruce came to Hillsboro in 1962 and have been in the car business for 46 years. We have kind of viewed this as an opportunity to retire from the car business.

?We were looking for somebody who could better our position,? she added. ?I think Midway brings some real depth to the Marion County area, and we?re really excited about it.?

Meanwhile, Flynn said Midway Motors saw the opportunity to grow its business by acquiring a dealership that enables them to add Chevrolet to the 10 lines of vehicles it currently can offer customers, and gives them a broader geographic reach to the east of McPherson.

?This gave us the opportunity to do both of those things, and to better serve the people of this area,? Flynn said.

?We feel there?s a market over here and that people will be receptive to us. We feel we can be a benefit to the city and the county and the surrounding area also.?

Flynn said the strong reputation of the Hillsboro dealership under the Schroeders? ownership was critical to Midway?s decision to acquire it.

?We get approached to buy (dealerships) from other individuals, and it?s just not been the right fit,? he said. ?The way that Irv and Jan and Bruce have run things, it?s the right way to do it. The reputation of the dealership was very, very important to us.?

Plans for growth

Flynn confirmed that Midway is in the process of acquiring property in the newly established Hillsboro Business Park located east of Ash Street along U.S. Highway 56.

?The plan is to build a new dealership?one that?s a little bit more up-to-date and maybe not quite as large?to be of better service to the county and be more accessible,? he said.

Flynn also said the company is in the process of hiring several additional employees to join the 12 full-time and six part-time workers already employed there.

?The same employees who have been providing the quality service they have are going to continue on with us,? he said.

?The Schroeders have done such a good job taking care of things, it?s just us trying to find a way to expand and grow onto what they?ve accomplished.?

Discounting rumors

Schroeder said rumors that Midway would simply close the Hillsboro dealership and absorb it into its McPherson operation were obviously false.

?Franchises are geographically specific,? she said. ?So the franchise they purchased from us was available for Marion County. It was something that could not be moved to McPher?son. So this is good for residents in this area.?

Schroeder also discounted rumors that GM is looking to reduce or combine dealerships like theirs.

?They are not looking to do that in the Midwest or in the smaller rural communities because this is where they have a very loyal following,? she said.

?They are looking to reduce or combine dealerships in the large urban areas, where there are a number of dealers a mile or two apart from each other, and there?s really too many for the population.?

Flynn said as plans to build a new dealership move forward, the most immediate changes customers will see is a name change to Midway Motors, an expanded inventory of vehicles and some ?new paint and new carpet? at the current facility.

Family enterprises

Like Irv Schroeder County Motors has been, Midway Motors is essentially a family owned business, Flynn said.

?The Hoover family bought the company from Ken Goering, whose grandson Gabe Goering is now one of the owners,? he said. ?The Hoover family bought it about 20 years ago and have continued to grow it.?

Meanwhile, Jan Schroeder joined the family business in Hillsboro in 1993 when she and husband Bruce began buying it from its founder and namesake. The buyout was complete in 1999, and Jan became the dealer of record.

?The difference (between the Schroeder family and the Hoover family) is that they?re young and just getting going,? Jan Schroeder said. ?Glenn has four boys, three of whom are already involved in the business.

?Midway, at this point, is a very young and aggressive business family,? she added. ?They really bring a lot of energy and vitality to this operation.?

Community impact

Flynn said Midway Motors believes in supporting the community. He and his family eventually will move to Hillsboro.

?I?ll be getting out and about, getting involved in the community,? he said.

Flynn added that he hopes ?The Big Three? vehicle dealerships in Hillsboro, which also includes Hillsboro Ford and Wright?s Chrysler-Dodge-Jeep, will continue to thrive with Midway?s participation.

?I want, in no way shape or form, for the Ford store or the Chrysler dealership to go out of business,? he said. ?We want them here. Competition is good. I want them to succeed as we succeed. I look forward to a good working relationship with them.?

Schroeder said the presence of ?an economically sound automobile history here in Hills?boro? will help Midway Motors successfully step into the local business scene.

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