Lynne Hudson takes over dealership
December 21, 2005
SILVERTHORNE – When she was in elementary school, Lynne Hudson was asked what she was going to be when she grew up. Her answer was to run an automobile dealership, just like her parents.This week, at 33, she becomes the youngest woman to head a General Motors dealership in Colorado.Sometime in the next several weeks, the sign at Jim Hudson Chevrolet will come down; replaced by one that says “Hudson Auto Source,” the result of adding four additional GM lines. Jim and Lorraine Hudson will retain a percentage of ownership, but Lynne is now the “dealer” after significantly increasing her share of the business. And dad Jim Hudson is just fine with that.He tells the story of how he made a promise to Lynne when she was at Colorado State. She told her father then that she wanted to come home after graduation and learn the business, one day taking charge of the company her father and mother had built. He promised he would if she showed she could.
In the last decade, she has, and Jim, who’s been in the auto business nearly half a century, joked that he was ready “to be shed of the whole thing.””Mom and dad now get to go play a tad bit more,” said Lynne. “They love to travel and play golf and they’ll be able to do that more freely.”Lorraine said she’s proud of the way Lynne has prepared herself. Not just learning from her parents – she clearly values her parents’ common sense approach to business where learning from mistakes is as important as learning from success – but also attending the National Automobile Dealers Association’s college-level training program, which participants liken to four years of college jammed into a single year. Not only is the dealership changing names and Lynne taking over full management, but as of last Thursday it has significantly expanded its product mix with the purchase of the area’s additional General Motors franchise.In addition to Chevrolet, Hudson now offers GMC, Buick, Pontiac and Cadillac vehicles.
Lynne said she always believed it made sense to offer one-stop shopping, especially given the desire for consumers to comparison shop between General Motors brands.”When people asked about other GM lines such as Cadillac we had to direct them down the street,” she said, referring to warranty service on non-Chevrolet vehicles. “Now we can take care of everyone in a way that makes shopping more efficient. It’s one-stop shopping.”Sales of the GM line have already been brisk, said sales manager Glenn Jordan. The dealership began selling the expanded GM line last week. Hudson had tried to purchase rights to sell GM twice in the past. The third time proved a charm.Mark Drennan, GM’s zone manager for the west region of the United States, said GM is very comfortable with the change.”Silverthorne has a brand new dealership with GM and Chevrolet all under one roof,” he said, adding that the strong foundation of the business isn’t new. “There’s the same great family.”
Drennan said Hudson’s pricing compares favorably with other dealerships throughout the state, and explained that Hudson, being a well-established facility doesn’t have the debt that new dealerships have, including those in the metro area.”In many ways they’re a more efficient operation,” he said.Lynne said that one change which is forthcoming is an emphasis on education and training, noting that technology changes are coming at a rapid pace to the automobile industry.”From the body shop to service to parts to sales our goal is to be fully trained on all of the new lines we now offer,” she said. Another goal is to be only the second GM dealership in Colorado to have four master technicians on staff, part of ongoing upgrades in the service department.