Old-School Businessman Takes Risks, Employees Reap Rewards

Retro Staff |  Comments
Howard Cooper

Howard Cooper (source: Fox News Video)

We couldn’t help but share this fantastic story about a car dealer who took big risks, built an enterprise, protected his employees’ jobs then gave them a hefty bonus.

Howard Cooper opened his card dealership – Howard Cooper Import Center – in Ann Arbor, Michigan in 1965. At first he sold Volkswagens, then added Audis and Porsche in 1972, and Hondas in 1979. Cooper said when he bought the vacant lot people told him he was crazy because it was remote. Today, after 47 years, he is retiring quite comfortably.

Cooper’s old-school mentality, though, makes him what some would say a modern-day hero. When he sold his business to Germain Motor Company, he required his employees keep their jobs. Then, during a farewell, Cooper handed out bonus checks to each worker, amounting to $1,000 for each year they put into the company. Cooper hasn’t announced the grand amount, but the dealership had 89 employees, with at least one who’d been with Cooper for 46 years.

“My employees are what made me successful,” Cooper said. “Fortunately I’ve been successful enough so I can share my rewards with them. And the rest is history.”

You can read the full story and watch video here: Retiring car dealer gives employees $1,000 for every year they’ve worked for him


Thanks to Bob H. for alerting us to this story!


Last updated: Sep 10, 2012
Filed under: Remember When, Retro Memories Tagged with: auto industry, retro business