My family has owned dealerships in the Dallas market for over 40 years. I have worked hard to earn an excellent reputation and become well- known throughout the market. Independent research has shown us that this is one of the key factors in the success of our company. My dealerships have maintained this reputation with long term, repeat customers receiving superior customer satisfaction, as well as growing our customer base exponentially every year of operation.
In 1961, my stepfather, Jim Allee, began the family history of ownership with Oldsmobile. Shortly thereafter, Jeep was added to the line. Success with these manufacturers allowed Jim to gain one of the first highly coveted Honda points in the region. I was working at these dealerships alongside my stepfather, learning the ropes of the business, which proved to be fortuitous as Jim passed away suddenly in 1983, leaving the management of the dealership to me and my mother, Henri.
As part of the growth of our company, a new location was purchased on I-635 to provide highway exposure for the Oldsmobile store. Also, in 1985, a separate facility was built nearby on Garland Road for the Jeep store, with Honda remaining at the original dealership location on Northwest highway in Dallas. Within 2 years our company had rapidly grown from one location to three individual stores. In 1987, with the excellent highway location, a decision was made to move the Jeep store to the Olds location.
Eventually, I saw the huge growth potential as Honda sales exploded and decided to focus on imports. I closed the Oldsmobile franchise, and sold the Jeep franchise to a dealer neighbor, Big Billy Barrett, and in 1993 bought the Volkswagen franchise from Big Billy Barrett. In 1997 Honda moved to the premier highway location, and in November 2002 Rusty Wallis Volkswagen moved into a brand new state-of-the-art facility across the highway from Rusty Wallis Honda.
Getting focused on imports was a key to the tremendous success of my dealerships. Understanding the import customer’s needs and delivering them with the integrity that was not typically shown in other dealerships has given us the edge. Rusty Wallis Honda and Rusty Wallis Volkswagen are both multiple award winning franchises. Honda has won the President’s Award, the highest award for customer satisfaction, sales volume and service a record 4 times and is on pace to win it again in 2005. Volkswagen has been a consistent, 3-time winner of the Wolfsburg Award, Volkswagen’s highest recognition with even tighter achievement standards.
We have been fortunate enough to earn incredible loyalty to the Rusty Wallis name and the people who carry the integrity forward. We maintain low turnover in an industry rampant with the “next big thing” due to my personal preference of hands-on management and by hiring management personnel that get the job done. While many of my employees have been with me for fifteen or more years, I know how to hire hot new talent that refreshes and makes the entire team stronger. It is this combined core of stability that continues to serve my dealerships well.
Webster’s defines integrity as: adherence to a code of values, utter sincerity, honesty, candor. My goal is to use integrity in both the business as well as personal side of my life.
My value ethic is my commitment to service. Whether it be with customers (“we’ll sell you on service before we sell you a car” is our mission statement), or in service to my family, friends and community.
I am happily married to Tammy and a proud father of three. I understand the dedication and balance needed to succeed in life as well as in business. My involvement in business associations such as AIADA, DEAC, TADA, NADA and the Dallas New Car Dealer’s Association keep me on the forefront of the latest goings-on in the industry. My participation in community, church and charitable events is strong, including support of Rockwall Independent School District programs, Heritage Christian Academy, Rockwall Women’s League, and area Chambers of Commerce for Rockwall and Garland.
As a native Texan, I have raised my family in the communities of my dealership locations to build relationships that translate into both business deals and friendships. I am a graduate of Southern Methodist University in Dallas and the Cox School of Business. My son Jeffrey graduated from Rockwall High School and my daughter Jessica now attends a private school in Rockwall.
As a private, independently owned company, I know I have to outperform and over deliver to earn customer’s business. I also know that the benefits of being a sole owner allow me to focus on growth of the franchises I own, and that I am the bottom line. My many years of profitable ownership have been rewarding as I continue to grow the dealerships in trade areas that have had customer demographics shift dramatically and population stagnate.
Both my wife Tammy and son Jeffrey are actively involved in the business. But rather just an executive office with an empty chair, Tammy and Jeffrey contribute significantly to the performance of Rusty Wallis Honda and Rusty Wallis Volkswagen. It is this dedication that will bring the future of new opportunities the same level of success currently exhibited in my dealerships.
by Rusty Wallis