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Was Toyota of Wilmington a Hendrick dealer before its remodel?

Ken Little

Was Toyota of Wilmington a Hendrick dealer before its recent remodel? If so, why the sudden push in Hendrick-branded advertising?

The Hendrick Toyota of Wilmington dealership has been a Hendrick affiliate store since 2000, said Doug Thompson, vice president and general manager of Toyota of Wilmington.

Thompson said that when it was purchased, the dealership was a part of the JLH Company, a group of dealerships owned primarily by John Hendrick, Rick Hendrick’s brother.

“In 2004, John was killed in a plane crash and the Rick Hendrick group took over management of the stores that were previously JLH,” Thompson said. “At the time, Toyota guidelines mandated using the city name wherever possible, so it was named Toyota of Wilmington when it was purchased originally in 2000.”

A branding initiative was started in 2010 “to bring all of our stores under the Hendrick name as soon as we could,” Thompson said.

“Due to manufacturer restrictions and some land ownership issues we were unable to make the name change until now. That, of course, coincided with the building of our new 68,000 square-foot building, so it was an ideal time to make the change,” Thompson said.

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