By Richard Dorschel
Dorschel Automotive had its beginnings in the mid 1940s after World War Two. My Dad, John Dorschel, opened a Hudson dealership in downtown Rochester. It wasn't a big operation, but it did well considering how difficult it was to get new automobiles towards the end of the war.
By the end of the 40s, my Dad became a Studebaker dealer. Studebakers design innovations, particularly its bullet nose and wrap around glass made it an increasingly popular automobile. Always seeking growth, John Dorschel seized an opportunity offered by Buick and opened a Buick dealership on Genesee Street in 1952.
Foresight and courage came into play when John Dorschel purchased various parcels of land on West Henrietta Road just south of Jefferson Road.
A new building was built in 1967 and Dorschel Buick moved to West Henrietta Road.
When a Rochester dealer offered to sell his Toyota franchise because he said, "there wasn't enough volume in the new import," John Dorschel saw the future for that relatively unknown import. He bought the franchise in 1970.
It was around that time that I became active in Dorschel management after a lengthy training program. It included everything from sweeping floors to sorting and delivering parts, washing cars, and occasionally even selling a new car.
One thing that stands out in my mind during this period was the realization that the most important element in success is customer satisfaction. If your new car customers, your used car customers, your service and your parts customers aren't happy with you, you probably won't be successful and probably won't be in business very long. Customer satisfaction was, is and will continue to be Dorschel's number one focus.
Our employees must make satisfied customers their greatest concern, and customer satisfaction can only be achieved with strong employee satisfaction.
But let's get back to the Dorschel story.
We became an Opel dealer in early 1970. These were quality built German cars and station wagons. Later in the seventies, Dorschel sold Alpha Romeo and unique Bricklin and automobiles for a few years. In early 1980, Dorschel was one of the original DeLorean dealers.
Dorschel Automotive purchased the Saab dealership in Scottsville in 1987. In order to give this automobile the facilities and personnel required to increase its acceptance, we moved the Saab operation to our existing facilities here on West Henrietta Road in 1989.
1990 really was a big year for Dorschel Automotive Group. After exhaustive review by the manufacturer Dorschel was appointed the exclusive Lexus dealership for the Rochester area. You all know how Lexus has established itself as the finest luxury automobile in the world.
Along the way Dorschel enlarged its auto restoration center which we felt was too advanced to be called just a body shop. It is now the largest Collision Center in the greater Rochester area!
Dorschel's parts department also grew and we started supplying Buick and Toyota parts and all other GM parts to independent auto repairers and dealers throughout western and central New York.
You now probably have the idea that Dorschel automotive is growth oriented and we're not done growing.
In 1997 we added Volkswagen, which has increasingly become a bigger and bigger player again in the world markets, and especially in our market.
In a very major endeavor, we became a Nissan dealer in 1997. Suddenly, we were handling more cars that people wanted than any other dealership in this part of New York State. Along with Nissan, we were also granted the high line Infiniti franchise.
And in August of 1997, we became a Kia dealer. Today are enjoying great success with Kia, which has joined our Central location in 2013 with a grand re-opening.
In 2009, when the federal government and the auto industry launched the "Cash For Clunkers" program, Dorschel Automotive Group was 3 in sales out of more than 17,000 auto dealers across the country.
An opportunity to showcase the world's first production of luxury plug-in hybrid vehicles presented itself with the accumulation of the Fisker franchise in 2011. Although production halted not long after its launch, we are confident in a bright new future for this fine automobile.
In the summer of 2012, Dorschel introduced MINI Cooper to the Rochester area. MINI is one of the most endearing, boundlessly fun cars on the road. We have loved rallying with MINI owners including a rally with over 80 MINIs motoring to Watkins Glen, New York, to take a few laps around the track.
In 2013, when Maserati approached Dorschel to be the exclusive representative for our area, an area that stretches from western Massachusetts to Ohio, we were honored. These evocative performance vehicles drive the refinement of Italian heritage into our showroom.
Stepping into a new market, Dorschel acquired the Nissan NV line of commercial vehicles. Cargo vans aren't usually regarded as exciting vehicles, but to the hard-working men and women of America, a well-designed van can be critical. Having a relationship with local business owners is important to us, and we are glad we can offer these fine vehicles which them. With an abundance of cargo space and custom-design options, this line of vehicles offers reliable and comfortable transportation.
Alfa Romeo will be joining the Dorschel family of dealerships in the fall of 2015.
A brand new state-of-the-art facility will be erected on 3865 West Henrietta Road which will house these exotic beauties, along with our Maserati vehicles.
The expansion of our award-winning service facilities will continue to employ the most skilled, factory-trained personnel backed by the latest automotive diagnostic technology. We make the entire service experience faster, more efficient, and more comfortable for every customer, no matter what brand they are driving.
Finally in 2009 we began a transition to our transparent, haggle free selling process. This strategy features commitments to offering highly competitive prices, and engaged personable sales associates who are compensation on volume and customer satisfaction rather than company profit ensuring that all guests at the Dorschel Group can count on fair treatment and honest advice.
Growth at Dorschel isn't just the number of franchises, or the number of vehicles that we've sold or serviced. Growth at Dorschel is also the thousands of customers who have purchased cars and trucks from us, and the people who have had their trucks and cars serviced by us. Their satisfaction and the feeling that Dorschel took good care of them is what growth is all about. We thank you for your patronage, and we look forward to continue being your trusted car dealer.
President, Dorschel Automotive Group