Ann Arbor Weather:
Friday September 22, 2017
Follow us: facebook twitter RSS feed
Print Comment E-mail

Howard Cooper

 

continued

Eventually he was offered a VW dealership. Though he thought the original rear-engined Beetle was "a funny-looking car," he took it. The location, too, wasn't what he originally wanted--he wanted a parcel of land on West Stadium, where Ace Hardware and Arbor Farms are now, but couldn't afford it. He settled for several acres of farmland just south of the city limits.

"People thought we were nuts to start a car dealership way out in the country," he remembers. But the Howard Cooper dealership is still there, now selling Porsches, Audis, and Hondas as well as VWs, and now one of only two dealerships still inside the city. (The other is Chrysler Jeep of Ann Arbor on West Stadium.) And while Chevy and other Detroit brands are still recovering from their near-death experience, his Howard Cooper Import Center is now right in the mainstream, selling everything from family sedans and SUVs to, in Honda's case, pickup trucks. Nor is import vs. U.S. the clear-cut issue it once was--many of the vehicles sold at Cooper, including the new hot-selling VW Passat, are made in America.

Cooper, at eighty-two, is still the dapper, smooth-talking car salesman who goes to work every day and supervises more than ninety employees, but he just wasn't up for the latest challenge--renegotiating the franchise with VW. The company, he says, has always refused to recognize the difficulty of selling global brands in Henry Ford country, and expects VW to have the same market penetration here that it does in, say, San Francisco.

Bookmark and Share
previous  ·  1 l 2 l 3  ·  next page
all on one page
read more stories here -> Marketplace  l  Culture  l  Community  l  News

You might also like:

Deet Deetle Deet, by Gene Gaunt
Crime Map
A clickable, zoomable map
Golf in a Box
Saline Scores X Golf
Billie Ochberg
Coffee Makes Way for Wellness
Espresso Royale leaves a changed Main St.
Catherine Zudak
Voice from the Past
Dan Chace's next documentary celebrates Bob Ufer.
Jan Schlain
Pizza at Buster's, and a Bigger Party City
In the Works, July 2017
Sabine Bickford
Nightspots: Guy Hollerin's
Ann Arbor's Police Patrol Vehicles
For officers and their passengers, bigger is better.
Bob & Jorja Feldman
Don Chisholm's Ann Arbor
He shaped the city's south side--and its music scene.
Davi Napoleon
Stop Sign at Oakbrook
Question Corner: August 2017
Tim Athan
Regent Hotel
Brickworld Michigan LEGO experience
A visitor's guide to Ann Arbor