|Morgan and Voss join forces in dealership|
|Written by Editor|
|Thursday, 19 May 2011 19:30|
By BILL DUFFIELD
The year is 1972 and Joe Morgan, just traded to the Cincinnati Reds from the Houston Astros, decided he wanted a car. But not just any car - an Indy Pace Car Corvette.
“I was wanting to buy a pace car and there were very few of them around,” Morgan said shortly before the ribbon cutting at Joe Morgan Honda, located at 176 Garver Rd. in Monroe. “John Voss had one. A friend introduced me to John and I drove up (to Dayton) and looked at the car and told him I wanted to buy it.
“We went and played golf that afternoon and I said ‘the price is a little steep for the car’ and John said ‘We’ll play golf. If I beat you, you’ll pay the asking price. If you win, I’ll take $5,000 off the price’.”
Morgan won that golf match and has been friends with Voss since.
“We’ve gone to inaugurations and all over,” Morgan said. “Our families have been friends since 1972, so I’ve probably known (Voss) longer than anyone in Cincinnati.”
Now, the Hall of Famer is going into business with his friend.
“John and I always said we wanted to do something together, but I had things going on on the west coast and we never did,” Morgan said. “We kept talking, though, and this opportunity became available and I said ‘I want to do that’.”
After leaving Cincinnati, Morgan’s career took him to back to Houston, where he got his Major League start, and then to San Francisco and Philadelphia before ending his playing career in Oakland.
“This area will always be important to me,” Morgan said. “I have friends here. I am a national ambassador, with Nancy Lopez, for Aim for the Handicapped.”
Morgan said he feels the time is just right for starting his venture, even though the economy is still down.
“I think the timing was perfect,” he said. “I think things are starting to come around - the economy and country - 268,000 new jobs this month, 200,000 last month. I think we’re at a time of recovery.
“And the Hondas I am selling fits all budgets. We have cars for anyone, up the luxury Accord that I drive. I think we have the right product at this time. We have a car for everyone. If you’re looking for a car that has the highest gas mileage, we have that. All of them get good mileage, actually. If you want a more upscale vehicle, we have that, too.”
Morgan said plans for the dealership has been in the works.
“I’ve been working on this for a few years,” he said. “We were delayed - which was good with the economy. But now the economy is starting to come back and we went full steam ahead.
“I got the franchise, it was in this area - they don’t give you an exact location. I like this corridor. It’s growing. I like this little area here. We were able to get this piece of property and build here.”
Morgan said the location will see great growth.
“Dayton and Cincinnati are growing together,” he said. “And we’re right there, between both sides. That was one of the other reasons I felt this area was the best for what I was looking for.”
Although name recognition is a plus for a business, Morgan said this is not just a “celebrity business.”
“Celebrity businesses are just that - celebrity businesses,” he said. “This is not that. This is a business business. I’ve owned other businesses before - I’ve owned a Coors distributor ship and a Wendy’s and it’s not about celebrity.
“As the old saying goes, you can build a restaurant over here as a celebrity, people will come once, but if you don’t give them good service, they won’t come back.
“The first thing they tell you is location, location, location, and I agree with that,” he continued. “But right on the same line should be ‘service, service, service’. If you don’t service your customer, they won’t come back. Doesn’t matter who you are, they won’t come back.”
Morgan said, in that vein, service is at the top of the list of duties for him and his employees.
“That’s the key to my being in this business is service and I always felt service is the most important thing - in some cases, even over location,” he said. “They’ll pass by your store to another place if you don’t give them good service.”
Formerly a broadcaster for ESPN’s Sunday Night Baseball, Morgan said he is done announcing.
“That is in my past,” he said. “It’s time for me to do less in my life and relax more, spend more time on the golf course.
“I enjoyed broadcasting, but I enjoyed playing baseball, too,” he continued. “Years ago, I was offered managing jobs, but did not do them. I really enjoy what I’m doing now - I’m a special advisor with the Reds for baseball operations and I work in the business department as well. It’s fun - it’s great.
Morgan said he is still in contact with the players on the Big Red Machine.
“I talk with them all,” he said. “John (Bench) and I are golfers, so we see each other at a lot of the same outings. I talk to Pete (Rose) on the phone quite often and I saw (Ken Sr.) Griffey at spring training.”
Joe Morgan Honda has also achieved certification as a Honda Express Service dealership. Certification indicates that the dealership is offering Honda customers the compete Express Service experience. Service technicians at Joe Morgan Honda use special tools and processes developed just for Express Service, allowing them to perform routine maintenance faster while maintaining high quality.
The dealership carries a full line of Honda vehicles, including the all-new Honda Odyssey and the revolutionary CR-Z Sport Hybrid, along with four alternative-fuel vehicles - the Civic Hybrid sedan, the Civic GX NGV (natural gas vehicle), the FCX Clarity (fuel cell electric vehicle), and the Insight Hybrid.
|Last Updated on Friday, 20 May 2011 13:25|