At its current rate of growth, Zeigler Auto Group could be coming to a dealership near you. More likely, there already exists a Zeigler-run franchise in your area.
“We’re continuing to grow at a rate of 2 to 3 stores a year and we just purchased two more in the Chicago area," Aaron Zeigler, president of the near half-century-old business that originated in Lowell, Mich., told Mega Dealer News. “With our philosophy being that customers like to do business in a nice place, typically all of our locations are new facilities.”
Since 2001, when Zeigler joined the family-owned business his father started in 1975 after buying a small dealership out of bankruptcy, Zeigler Auto Group has grown to 26 locations and 73 franchises.
“Soon after I started out, I came to the realization that in order to be competitive and to grow the business you have to offer plenty of products and opportunities for people,” Zeigler said. “The vast majority of the people we now have running businesses for the company came from inside the organization.”
In his long tenure with his family's business, Zeigler, 45, said his proudest moments have come from seeing some of those same people take over dealerships they may never before have dreamed of operating. Also ranking high on his list of accomplishments is the charitable work the company has done in the communities it serves.
“We support over 100 charities a year, including our Drive for Life event every May where we raise over $500,000 for local charities in Kalamazoo, Mich.,” he said.
Over the years, the 38-year-old event has attracted the likes of NCAA championship coach Tom Izzo, former NFL star Chris Spielman and Olympic gold medalist Jim Craig.
As for the future, Zeigler said the company continues to have an eye on expansion across the Midwest.
“I can certainly see that happening,” he said. “The truth is that all the technology that now exists makes it easier for growth and running multiple locations because you can communicate from anywhere and do it in real time.”