New Braunfels Herald Zeitung (Newspaper) - October 8, 1991, New Braunfels, Texas
Becker Motor Co. true local tradition
By DAVID SULLENS Editor and Publisher
In a time when turnover is a problem so significant that major automakers are holding national press conferences to announce special programs to reward employees who stay with a dealership two or three years, the four primary technicians at Becker Motor Co. in New Braunfels have been with the firm an average of 30 years.
Norman Hummel joined the dealership in 1952.
Kermit Jonas joined the dealership in 1948.
Walter Oehler Jr. joined the dealership in 1963.
And Tom Vasek is described by Amo Becker, the dealership's managing partner, as "our newest one; he's only been with us eight yean.”
Becker grins when he says thau knowing how much most dealers would like to be able to say their firm’s least tenured technician had "only” been with them eight years.
Lewis Sarkozi, who does light technical work, has been with the dealership since 1977.
And Becker is quick to tell you that its technicians — the people who provide service after a car is sold —are the key to his dealership's success.
"The technicians working on the cars in the back are the key to our success,” he said last week, "because they’re the ones who make the sales for us.
"You've got to take care of your customers, and that's what they do.”
Becker is proud of the skill of his technicians.
‘They are required to go to school every year to retain their standing,” he says, "but we also do a lot of additional training here” using videotapes and interactive laser discs.
The skill that training builds, and the importance Becker places on "taking care of our customers” are very visible in the customer satisfaction index issued by Chrysler Motor Co. quarterly.
That index, which is based on surveys of customers, shows Becker Motor Co. ranked consistently higher than any other dealer within a 50-mile radius of New Braunfels.
Becker Motor Co. was established in November 1928 as a Chevrolet franchise.
Amo Becker’s grandfather August Becker moved to New Braunfels from Seguin to establish his new business. He was accompanied in his venture by
Louis Niemeyer, Amo’s uncle.
In 1933, the firm dropped the Chevrolet franchise and chose Dodge and Plymouth to replace iL
During the 1930s Walter Becker, Amo’s father, bought into the business.
Becker Motor Co. also handled the Desoto line for a time in the late 1950s and early ’60s after the firm which had been handling DeSotos in New Braunfels closed.
The company’s first location was on San Antonio Street.
It left that site in 1936, locating where the Wright Building is today, but two years later moved to the present location of Dieted Auto Supply.
(As an interesting aside, Joe Villerrcal, the Becker employee with the longest tenure, joined the firm in 1935. He began as a "parts sweeper” and today is in sales.)
‘That location I remember,” Amo Becker recalls, "because that was during my growing up years.”
The present dealership was built "right at the end of the war,” he recalls.
About that time, George Becker became a partner, making the company a three-way partnership.
In the late 1960s, Leroy Becker sold his interest to the other partners and in 1973, Amo bought into the dealership.
George’s son G.R. “Bobby” Becker became a paruier during the 1980s and is now the firm’s sales manager.
Amo’s son Blair is the dealership’s parts manager.
Like his father before him, Amo Becker has long been heavily involved in his community. A member of the McKenna hospital board, the Wurslfest Association and the New Braunfels Lions Club — of which his father was a longtime member — he recently completed a three-year stint as a member of the New Braunfels City Council, the last of those years as mayor. He is a member of the St. Paul Lutheran Church and has served on the church council.
Baker is proud that his firm — which employs 37 people — is a full-service dealership, offering new and used car sales, complete service, including a body shop, parts, and leasing and rental.
Becker Motor Co. is owned by, from left in photo at left,
G R. Becker, George E. Becker and Amo Becker. The firm, begun by August Becker In 1928, la served by receptionist Lynn Prelss and office manager Gene Foerster, above, and title clerk Benote Trappe right. (Photos by David St lens and Annelies Schlickenrleder)
Service and parts personnel, from left above, are Walter Oehler Jr., Milton Wegner, Norman Hummel. Jose Nieto, John Demais, Blair Becker, Faustino Alvarez, Kermit Jonas, Frank Espinoza and Jerry Brajcki. The sales staff, center, includes Don Koraska, Bilynda Lange. Vickie Pieper, Eddie Fischer, Kenny Boren, Joe Villarreal, Judy Kiostal and Don Head. Employed in the body shop are, bottom, Darrell Deptawa, Rene Perez, Paul Espinoza, George Romero Sr., Mike Laffery, Charles Mulkey and Manuel Olivares Jr.
Herald-Zeltung, New Braunfels, Texas Tuesday, October 8, 1991 Page 5Stories tA LOOK AT SUCCESSFUL BUSINESSES IN NEW BRAUNFELS AND COMAL COUNTYEDITOR S NOTE:
Success Stories is an “advertorial” feature: stories about successful businesses which are sponsored in part by the businesses themselves. Success Stories will appear in the New Braunfels Herald-Zeitung through Tuesday, Oct. 8. Successful New Braunfels and area businesses which will be featured in the series include:BECKER MOTOR COMPANY
547 South Seguin • New Braunfels • 625-3463CENTURY 21 NORRIS REALTY, INC.
604 S. Seguin • New Braunfels • 625-8061DON MAXWELL CHEVROLET
386 W. San Antonio St. • New Braunfels • 625-3461HOFFMANN AGENCIES
447 S. Seguin Ave. • New Braunfels • 625-7502KRAFT MOBILETEL
679 S. Seguin St. • New Braunfels • 629-7466KRUEGER MAZDA
South IH-35 • New Braunfels *620-1188LAFARGE CORP.
Snims & Wald Roads P.O. Box 311507 • New Braunfels • 625-7338