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Meet Chris O’Neill and Chris Gendreau of Huggard & Ewing in South Shore

Today we’d like to introduce you to Chris O’Neill and Chris Gendreau.

Chris and Chris, let’s start with your story. We’d love to hear how you got started and how the journey has been so far.
Chris and I met in kindergarten and became lifelong friends with a passion for cars and a dream of one day owning our own dealership, now at the age of 39 we are business partners and owners of a large pre owned auto dealership and also a small pre owned dealership. It all started back in 1999 when Chris and I entered the auto business as salesmen of a large Ford store. The dealership sold around 400 vehicles per month with 30 salesmen so we had to learn quickly to earn our keep. We both did well and moved our way up the ladder, I became the finance manager and Chris became the sales manager. We held these positions for a few years, Chris & I moved up the ladder again, Chris as general sales manager and I took on a project of spearheading a finance department in a large dealership. We both held these positions until the purchase of Huggard & Ewing. The opportunity to purchase H & E is an interesting story. My grandfather Earl Ewing and Stanley Huggard founded the dealership in 1951. They both retired in the 1980’s I was just a young boy at the time. Stanley’s sons took over the dealership. In 2012 one of the sons was ready to retire, this was our chance to fulfill our lifelong dream! We had the opportunity of purchasing his shares and partner with the remaining Huggard son. Chris and I negotiated a great deal with a plan to purchase the entire dealership. In 2015 Chris and I became 100% owners of the dealership. When we first partnered in 2012, the dealership had about 60 vehicles in stock and sold an average 0f 25 vehicles per month. We now have over 200 vehicles in stock, 26 employees, and sell an average of 110 vehicles per month.

Great, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
It was challenging to change the dealership from what it was to where we are today. It was a lot of hard work. Chris and I were in our early 30’s full of energy, ideas, and drive. We changed everything, the way we advertised, our sales process (we are a one price store), staff, Service dept., inventory, procedure, and even our operating system.

Please tell us about Huggard & Ewing.
We specialize in the sale of pre-owned vehicles. We also have a large service department that repairs all types of vehicles for the public. We are proud to be family since 1951 in the same location. I think our reputation, quality vehicles, and aggressive pricing sets us apart from others. Our sales process streamlines the purchase process and customers love that. We understand that purchasing a vehicle in some people’s eyes, is not their most favorite thing to do. Some even dread it. So we have a one price process with a large online presence with lots of information available to our customers. Most in Market shoppers are doing their homework online so we recognized that our online showroom needs to be just as good if not better than our actual showroom. The business has changed so much and Chris and I are always trying to stay ahead of the curve,

Do you look back particularly fondly on any memories from childhood?
I will never forget when Chris and I Met in kindergarten, we built a car out of wooden blocks both hopped in and (pretend) drove it to McDonald’s drive through.

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1 Comment

  1. Susan G. Moran

    July 31, 2018 at 8:55 pm

    I would not go to any other dealership to purchase a car or service my car…all who work there are informative, friendly, and very knowledgeable!!!! I always tell family and friends that this is the place to do business!!!! I could never thank all the employees enough!!!! HUGGARD AND EWING are the best!!!!!!

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