Sax Motors takes over Dean Bender Chevrolet
Sax Motor Co. now has three area locations since recently purchasing Dean Bender Chevrolet in Killdeer. Former owner Dean Bender said the sale made his 50 years in the car dealership business come full circle. He started working at Sax in Dickins...
Sax Motor Co. now has three area locations since recently purchasing Dean Bender Chevrolet in Killdeer.
Former owner Dean Bender said the sale made his 50 years in the car dealership business come full circle.
He started working at Sax in Dickinson in 1960 while he was going to college. He worked there for four years as a service writer.
"Then I decided not to go into teaching and I stayed here for another 10 years," Bender said. "I was the service manager and body shop foreman here."
He purchased the dealership in Killdeer in 1974.
"It's kind of ironic that I started with Sax and ended with Sax," he said with a laugh.
Sax has been in the area for nearly 90 years and owners thought a Killdeer location would be a good addition, said Pam Kostelecky, Sax dealer and operator.
"We started in Hebron in 1923 and we moved here a few years after that," she said. "We've been part of the area and selling GM products for that many years. We do have many longtime employees who have a lot of experience."
Sax retained Bender's employees in Killdeer, who also have a lot of experience, Bender said.
"I think the employees are happy with the transition and it's working out great for everybody," Bender said.
Few changes have been made at the Killdeer location, Kostelecky said.
"Our philosophies are much the same -- customer service and taking care of the employees, so it seemed like a good fit," she said. "We've tried to keep the transition relatively seamless by not making any dramatic changes."
However, the Dickinson location may undergo remodeling soon, Kostelecky added.
Bender said the acquisition will give customers at all three Sax locations a better selection.
"They have a better variety of used vehicles and new vehicle selection that they can draw from for any customer in any three of the communities so that will definitely be an asset all the way around," he said.
Sax general manager and fourth-generation dealer Christian Kostelecky said each location caters to that area.
"There are differences in customers, so we try to tailor it to the local customer and clientele," he said.
Each store is being run as a separate operation, but customers can expect the same service and processes at each location, Pam said.
"They all sell Chevrolet, but we sell Cadillac in Dickinson and Bowman also has Buick, so we've got a nice GM lineup," she said.
Sax also has a strong repair department, Pam added.
Bender checks in at the Killdeer location to help out where he can and aid in a smooth transition, he said.
"It's bittersweet. I miss it and probably will miss it for quite some time, but I'm looking forward to maybe a little vacation time, too," he said. "You get mixed emotions on it. After that many years, your employees become family."
Sax Motor Co. in Killdeer is located at 100 Central Ave. S.E.
The business is open from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday. To contact the Killdeer location, call 701-764-5888.