The family and business values instilled by dealership founder Floyd A. Megee are models each successive generation honors faithfully today at Megee Motors
An extremely energetic 58-year-old, it’s obvious that Terry Megee has lots of gas left in the tank. We caught up with the president of Megee Motors on the way to a links date so that we could speak with him on the occasion of a rather special semicentennial anniversary — 50 momentous years as a premier Chrysler dealer.
Megee Motors actually got its start 16 years earlier, back in 1948, when founder Floyd Megee (for whom the dealership is still officially named) hung out a shingle and began selling Studebakers. When the handwriting was on the wall that the car manufacturer from South Bend, Indiana would go the way of the dinosaur, Floyd, an eternal optimist, saw it as an opportunity.
“It was the late 50s, and Jeeps were basically brand-new to the area,” Terry said, “but my dad realized pretty quickly that between the beach-going public and the local farming community, there was a definite niche that a true 4x4 vehicle like a Jeep could fill as well, if not better, than any other kind of car.”
That proved to be a good move for the Megee family, one made even better when Floyd added Chrysler-Plymouth to the stable, in 1964. These were especially good days for Terry, who would hang around the dealership from the time he
was a toddler, weaving imaginary tales in his young mind while playing with spare sets of car keys splayed about the high-buff tile floors of Megee Motors.
As the dealership expanded, so did Terry’s responsibilities. In addition to cleaning cars, he began sweeping the same floors that had once been his playground. And by the summer of ‘72, while still in high school, he worked in the parts department and did a complete physical inventory.
At age 16, when other kids were worrying about the proper operation of coupes and sedans, Terry was learning to drive the tow wrecker, as well as perform basic maintenance, welding, tire changing and detailing. It was in ’77 that Terry sold his first car, to the Davidson family of Harbeson, Del. That’s the same year he graduated from Salisbury State with a degree in business administration. After a yearlong internship in the sales department, he became a minority owner and officer of the corporation. In 1992, Terry became the sole proprietor when he and his wife/business partner/high-school sweetheart, Vanessa, acquired the dealership.
The third generation of Megee family leadership is already in place, with daughter Lindsay directing the finance department while her brother, Matt, is in charge of service and parts. All things considered, the future of Megee Motors looks brighter than ever.
“There are some very exciting cars that have arrived on our lot for 2014, Terry declared, “ones that are already getting a phenomenal response by the public.”
The avid fisherman and hunter (including bow and arrow) from Georgetown went on to cite the all-new-for-2014, real-four-wheel-drive Jeep Cherokee, which Terry said is so well-priced and good-looking, customers are trading in their Lexuses, BMWs and Buick LaCrosses to get them.
Also popular is the 2014 Grand Cherokee, which now offers a diesel engine that boasts up to 30 mpg on the highway and about 27 mpg combined, according to Terry.
Perhaps the most exciting car for 2014, however, is the new Chrysler 200, which Terry says is set on a chassis made by Italian sports-car legend Alfa Romeo. The effect, he explained, is that the car will offer a quality of ride, comfort and dependability never before seen in the model and is now credibly poised to go directly after the Maxima, Camry, Accord and
Fusion buyer. And with a highway-mileage rating of 37 and a sticker price for the front-wheel-drive version that falls between $21k–$29k (an AWD version is available for about $31k), Terry is confident that his used-car inventory of Japanese and American sedans is going to increase substantially.
“I learned many invaluable lessons at the knee of my father,” shared Terry, who was one of only 49 dealers out of 19,500 nationwide to be nominated for the 2009 TIME magazine “Dealer of the Year” award. “First, he taught me to be patient – he and I never had a cross word between us in more than 20 years working together. Second, he taught me the value of being dependable and to always do what you’ve said you’re going to do. Lastly, my father taught me the virtues of honesty and to always treat people the way I would have them treat me; in other words, the Golden Rule. That’s how we’ve succeeded in what is universally regarded as a very stressful industry for more than 66 years and how we plan to succeed for 66 more!”
In addition to their business pursuits, the Megee family has been centrally involved in community activities and betterment for more than 50 years.
FLOYD A. MEGEE MOTOR COMPANY
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