It’s Scott Davies’ second chance.
The former Saturn of Wichita dealer who lost his is 18-year-old franchise as part of General Motors’ restructuring five years ago is back in the car business, this time as a Volvo dealer.
Davies, Steve Hatchett and Tom Devlin purchased Gorges & Co. Volvo, the group announced Tuesday.
Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.
The dealership, 3211 N. Webb Road, is now operating as Volvo of Wichita.
Davies said Tuesday that the sale was approved by Volvo last week.
“I’m real thrilled these guys are getting it,” said Marc Gorges, whose father started the Volvo dealership in 1957 at a lot on North Broadway.
“Two of them are past partners, and the other is a friend,” Gorges said of Hatchett, Devlin and Davies. Gorges added that he plans to retire with the sale of the dealership.
Hatchett and Devlin are partners in the Scholfield group of dealerships. Davies said Volvo of Wichita is not a Scholfield dealership but it will use Scholfield’s back-office support for human resources and other functions.
Scholfield is where Davies got his start in the car business 31 years ago. It launched the Saturn dealership in Wichita that Davies came to lead and later own.
When General Motors eliminated the Saturn brand as part of its bankruptcy restructuring in 2009, Scholfield partner Hatchett pledged his support to help Davies return to the car business when he was ready.
“It was just a matter of time,” Hatchett said Tuesday of Davies’ return to the car business. The two men had been looking at dealership acquisitions for the past couple of years.
“This deal kind of came up, and it’s really a perfect fit for him,” Hatchett said of Davies. “It’s a deal that he can immediately get right into.
“He really loves the business, he’s got a million customers and friends, and he will do real well,” Hatchett said.
Davies said his immediate goals are to increase sales of new Volvos and used cars. “In new cars, we feel like we can double the business by next spring,” he said.
He’ll do that, he said, by employing the same sales and customer service philosophy he had at Saturn. “We’re going to make it very easy to buy a car,” Davies said.
The existing customer base that Gorges developed over 60 years is “going to love doing business with us,” he added.
As sales grow at Volvo of Wichita, Davies said he expects to add employees. The dealership currently employs 25 people, he said.
He also hopes to eventually have half of the dealership’s management positions occupied by women.
Davies said even though he is 61, right now he feels like he is 41, having another chance to own and run a dealership.
“I missed being in the car business,” he said. “I missed being in business.
“I wasn’t ready to stop working” when GM eliminated Saturn, he said. “I’m excited about getting this chance.”