Dealer Doing: Desert Toyota

Dealer Doing: Desert Toyota

50 Fabulous Years: Desert Toyota of Tucson Celebrates a Half-Century of Serving Customers
A lot has changed in the last 50 years. In 1972, a gallon of regular gas cost about 36 cents. Richard Nixon was president of the United States. And Don McLean’s “American Pie” was at the top of the music charts.
Something pretty special also happened that year: Desert Toyota of Tucson opened its doors in Arizona. This past April, owner and CEO Brent Berge celebrated the milestone with his team of 165 employees. Berge has been there from the very beginning. After 50 years of selling Toyota vehicles, we chatted with him for insights and advice.
Toyota Today: Congratulations on 50 years in business! And you’ve been there since day one, which is pretty remarkable. How did you get into the business?
Berge: My dad was in the business and I grew up in it. When I got out of college, I thought I would do something different. But I went to work for my dad for a while to help out, and I never really left. My brother and I both worked for my dad, but I eventually branched out and started my own store.
What has it been like working with Toyota for all these years?
Toyota still has the feeling of a partnership. You still feel like you’re part of the family. Toyota used to say, ‘we’ll build them, and you sell them.’” And it was great because as long as we did what we were supposed to do, they were happy. Toyota really tries to have a good working relationship and think about the dealers. A lot of manufacturers aren’t like that. It’s a good feeling to know they have our back. I feel like I can call the ones at the top and they’ll listen to me.
What advice would you share with dealers who want to emulate your success?
Be yourself. Find your approach and stick with it. If you do things right, good things will come. Stay disciplined and stay after it.
So, after 50 years, what’s next? Retirement?
Oh, hell no. My sons and wife say I should, but I still think I can function. I enjoy work, and I don’t get up dreading going to the office. Retirement sounds so boring.


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