By Julie Ann Madden
Editor’s Note: This is the first in a two-part series on Dirks Motor Company changes.
For the first time in 90 years, people won’t be buying their vehicles or having them serviced at Dirks Motor Company.
As one of Akron’s longest operating family-owned businesses ends, another is taking its place.
“We’ve been working with Dick Dirks for about 18 months trying to put this deal together so we can keep Chevrolets and Fords in this area,” said Dirks Motor Company’s new owner Scott Taylor of Le Mars in an interview, which also included his business partners, Todd and Brent Brownmiller of Le Mars.
“We also wanted to expand our current business,” he added.
The trio, which owns and operates Total Sales & Services in Le Mars, has renamed Dirks Motor Company “Total Motors.”
On July 2, the ownership and General Motors franchise transfer was completed.
At Total Sales & Services in Le Mars, they sell used vehicles, provide mechanical repair services and operate a body shop.
“We’re a new car dealer without new cars over there,” said Taylor, explaining they opened Total Sales & Services Aug. 15, 2009. He had previously worked 14 years for Nuebel Chevrolet before the trio purchased it and changed the name to Total Sales & Services.
With Total Motors, they are adding new vehicles to their sales options.
In addition to selling new vehicles here in Akron, they will offer oil changes, tire repairs, vehicle warranty work, and transmission and engine overhauls, said Taylor. “Pretty much anything mechanical that your car needs, we can take care of and body-wise we can take care of that, too. The body work will still be done at our Le Mars location.”
Total Motors’ Service Department will open at 7:30 a.m. and close at 5 p.m. Monday through Friday and on Saturdays it will be open from 7:30 a.m. to Noon.
The Sales Department will open at 8 a.m. Monday through Saturday. On Mondays and Wednesdays, it will be open until 8 p.m. and on Tuesdays and Thursdays, they will close at 6 p.m. On Fridays, it will close at 5 p.m. and on Saturday, 3 p.m.
“We’ll also take appointments for customers who want to see a vehicle but can’t make it during our open hours,” said Taylor.
Although people won’t see a car lot overflowing with vehicles right away, Total Motors will eventually have many vehicles for sale at Akron.
“We want to keep growing like we did in Le Mars,” said Taylor. “We started with 13 cars and now have about 70 there. We’ll eventually have about 70 used and new vehicles here within the next few months.”
“There will be new Fords and Chevrolets and a variety of used vehicles at the Akron lot,” said co-owner Todd Brownmiller. “Even if the vehicle you want is not setting on the lot, we can still get it.”
“We do a lot of locating cars for people,” said Taylor. “We can pretty much get any color, make, model, and option you want.”
“We are here to take care of the customer,” he added. “Customer service is our No. 1 thing — making sure you are taken care of.”
“We want to take care of the customer like Dirks has done for 90 years,” said Taylor. “A lot of things Dirks has done in the past is by taking care of the people which kept them their name.”
Their phone number is the same: 568-2431.
Furthermore, the trio plans to not only retain the current employees, they will be filling new positions in the next few months.
Current employees include Ed Robotham and Mike Johnson in the Service Department; Morey Anderson, Rick Dirks and his brother, Dave Dirks, in the Sales Department; and Diana Beeck in the office.
Dick Dirks and Nancy Nielsen will be retiring.
Dave Hill of Total Sales & Services will join the Akron staff.