The Ehrlich Success Story – From a One-Man Operation to a Family Legacy
Spend any amount of time in Northern Colorado, and you're bound to hear the name Ehrlich. This year in particular marks a major milestone for the popular car dealer, as it is celebrating 50 years of successful partnership with the Nissan (formerly Datsun) brand. That's an accomplishment that only a handful of companies in the country can lay claim to.
Scott Ehrlich owns numerous car dealerships in Northern Colorado, including Ehrlich Nissan in Greeley, and he was excited to talk to me about the family's long road to success.
Scott told me his father Swede first started his own business in 1946. It was a "one-man operation" called Swede's Repair Shop. Over the next few years, Swede started growing his business via buying and selling new and used cars.
In 1963 he took on Datsun, and nobody knew about [Datsun]; everyone thought he was crazy. They had a car and a truck and they both sold for $1,295, so he liked it and he started selling a few of them. In 1968 he moved to Greeley; at that time Datsun became a very popular brand, and later changed their name to Nissan. We've hung in there with them.
While the popularity and variety of the brands they offer is definitely a big factor, Scott says the secret to their success is something else.
It's truly been about our people...and I think that's what's kept us around all these years and paved the way for our success... and it's all about our customers. We got a lot of long term customers that have continued to come back, and we've done everything to keep their trust.
Scott mentioned that Ehrlich Nissan in particular might be the only family-owned Nissan dealership still open West of the Mississippi to hit the 50-year milestone. He said according to Nissan executives, there have only been four or five dealers in the entire US to accomplish such a feat.
...(Datsun) didn't come to the US until about '58 or '59. I think my dad was one of the first 40 dealers in the United States to get the brand... but very few last 50 years... that's very unique.
Scott said he also really appreciates the chance that the Ehrlich name has been given to grow.
I feel we've just been fortunate. We've been able to grow a lot, and add other brands, and do more.
Congrats to the Ehrlich family of dealerships for all their success. I'm sure the best days are yet to come!