ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — What you didn’t know
Although raised around dealerships, “I got into the business because I love cars.”
Favorite vehicle: Corvette
Upcoming promotion: Grand opening for the Chrysler Jeep Dodge dealership throughout the month of September.
LOS LUNAS – As a third-generation auto dealer, Brad Francis is well-steeped in the business.
But even though he began working in his grandfather’s dealership when he was just about five years old, he wasn’t handed one of his own.
He had to make his own way in the business.
His grandfather started the Francis tradition in the business with a dealership in St. Louis, Francis’ father had a dealership in West Texas, then one in St. Louis and finally another one in Roswell.
In 1986, Francis moved to Albuquerque when his father sold the Roswell dealership and started working for Ken Johns.
It wasn’t until 14 years later, however, that Francis got a dealership of his own – well, almost.
He and Larry H. Miller out of Utah together bought the old Luna dealership in Belen in 2001 and moved it to Los Lunas a year later.
It wasn’t until 2009 that Francis bought out Miller and finally had a dealership to call his own.
And last August he acquired the Chrysler Jeep Dodge dealership to complete the trifecta of American autos to complement the Ford and Chevrolet dealerships.
“We have all three dealerships in the same 12-acre site,” Francis said. “I think that’s unique in New Mexico. We like it. We’re thinking of going with the Brad Francis All American Auto Mall.
The great thing about it is it gives the car buyer the ability to see vehicles from all three brands and test drive them all without having to leave the lot.
Still, it does make for an interesting dynamic, particularly between Ford and Chevy.
“They’ve been competitors for 100 years,” Francis said.
Still, while both Ford enthusiasts tend to loath Chevys and vice versa, both seem willing to accept Dodge and Jeep products, he said.
And to highlight the new line of vehicles, the dealership recently completed a 5,000-foot showroom for the Chrysler Jeep Dodge vehicles.
“This area hasn’t had a Chrysler dealership for five years,” Francis said. “We’re doing a really good business. There are a lot of Chrysler customers down here and they needed to have a Chrysler dealership in Valencia County.”