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Spate of bad luck can’t deter dealer

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Owner Brad Eckhoff is working to get his dealership back on track. (Glen Rosales/For the Albuquerque Journal)

Owner Brad Eckhoff is working to get his dealership back on track. (Glen Rosales/For the Albuquerque Journal)

Although Brad Eckhoff has been in the auto business for 30 years, recently he’s been plagued with some bad luck.

After adding an auto shop to the Roadrunner Auto Mart on Coors NW just south of I-40, he was victimized by an employee who cooked the books on him, siphoning away all of its profits.

And while trying to recover from that and waiting for Albuquerque police and the District Attorney’s Office to bring changes against the former employee, a former salesman kept the entire proceeds of a cash sale. Eckhoff is taking the civil route in that case.

“It’s been tough,” he said. “I’ve actually considered shutting it all down.” For now, however, he will continue to persevere.

He actually got started in the business after a bit of bad luck.

Eckhoff moved to Albuquerque from Durango, Colo., to work in a grocery business, but the job fell through shortly after he got here and he was forced to take another job for less than half of what he was expecting.

But one day returning from the 7-Bar Airport on Coors, he saw a man sitting on a milk crate watching ground being broken on what was going to be a new dealership.

Eckhoff asked so many questions that he was told, “You’re really aggressive. Come back when we’re open and talk to me about a job.”

And when the dealership opened, he did, and joined an aggressive sales force.

“I didn’t know anything about selling cars,” he said.

And he originally found it difficult to make much headway until he began outside marketing to businesses throughout the West Side, Rio Rancho and Corrales.

“In the first two months, I sold five cars each month,” Eckhoff said. “In the first two days of the third month, I sold eight cars.”

That led him to realize he could make a good living at it. And in 1997, he opened Roadrunner.

“I got my dealer’s license on my birthday,” Eckhoff said. “It was pretty cool.”

Now he’s just looking for a bit of cool luck to right the ship and get back on track.

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