In 1995, Larry Hillis set out to open his own car dealership in Poplar Bluff, Missouri. Nearly 20 years later, Larry Hillis is a sprawling and successful Chrysler-Dodge-Jeep-Ram dealership, thanks to help from the whole family.
Larry’s dealership opened with just 12 employees and 20 cars on the lot. Today, it boasts 43 employees and an average of 300 vehicles on its 15-acre lot. Original owner and founder Larry Hillis still heads the business, but he’s brought his family onto his team as well. Matt Hillis, Larry’s son and the current general manager, started out in sales in 2004 and has worked his way up through just about every department ever since. Larry’s wife and daughter are also involved in the family business.
Having practically grown up in the business, Matt displays the same values and goals that led his father to establish the dealership some 20 years ago. “It’s all about exceeding customer expectations,” he says. Matt and his father have always been committed to going above and beyond for customers, both in the body shop and on the sales lot. It’s this commitment to customers – rooted in the family’s traditional Christian values – that sets Larry Hillis apart from the competition.
They’ve also made it a point to run every part of the business locally. “We do everything we can to shop local for our business needs,” Matt says. For example, the dealership offers contracts to local businesses in Poplar Bluff for its business needs and services whenever possible.
As a second-generation small businessman, Matt has put his own mark on the dealership by making a name for himself in the local business community. He served as the Chairman of the Poplar Bluff Chamber of Commerce for three years, and he makes sure that the dealership is actively involved with the Chamber year after year. “It’s important to be a part of the area’s Chamber of Commerce because it provides networking opportunities and community leadership for the local businesses,” he says.
Larry Hillis has come a long way thanks to a dedicated, hardworking family. With the leadership of father-son team Larry and Matt Hillis, the dealership continues to exceed customer expectations and support the local community. For more information about Larry Hillis, visit www.larryhillischryslerdodgejeep.com.