Longtime car dealer Jim Mowry to retire

MOWRY

MOWRY

MANISTEE — A car-selling career that spans several decades will come to a climax, when Jim Mowry officially retires from Manistee Chevrolet.

“I began working for my dad and uncle in 1961 at their original dealership at Peanut Junction.”  said Mowry. “I made 10 cents an hour sweeping floors and emptying waste baskets.”

After graduating from Michigan Tech with a Business Administration degree in 1974, Mowry had planned to go to work for General Motors, but that plan was foiled by the oil embargo, which had an unfavorable affect on the auto industry.

“I was looking for a job at the same time the Big 3 where experiencing significant layoffs. My timing was terrible,” said Mowry. It was then that he decided to go to work selling cars for his dad at the Mowry Buick Pontiac dealership.

Over the years Jim sold, literally, thousands of vehicles and has kept records of every sale.

“I have notebooks with all of the transactions I was a part of. We dealt with a lot of customers and made a lot of lifelong friendships,” he said.

Eventually, Jim and his business partner Paul Bosschem would purchase the dealership from Jim’s dad, Richard, when he retired in 1988. They would own and operate the dealership, until 2003 when it was sold to Benchley Automotive.

“I stayed on with Benchley’s selling cars for five years, between 2003 and 2008. I chose to leave Benchley’s when the recession hit. Ultimately the dealership was forced to close,” said Jim, who admitted that was a sad day. “GM was in bankruptcy and the future of the industry was looking pretty bleak.”

However, Jim didn’t stay away from the industry for very long.

“Bob Yates from Yates Chevrolet called and said he could use some help in his sales department. I was out of work for two days and I was right back to selling cars,” added Mowry.

Jim remained on staff when Barry Seymour purchased the dealership from Yates in 2015 and it was renamed Manistee Chevrolet.

“No question, Jim will be hard to replace,” said Manistee Chevrolet owner Barry Seymour. “He has a lifetime of experience and a very loyal base of customers. We wish him nothing but the best in his retirement.”

Mowry’s last day on the job at Manistee Chevrolet will be Friday, Sept. 29.

The public is invited to stop in between 11 a.m. and 3 p.m. to wish Jim well and enjoy coffee and cake. Mowry is looking forward to retirement.

“I’ll be spending a lot of time with my children and grandchildren. I think I will find it pretty easy to stay busy,” added Mowry. “It’s been a good run. I’ve always enjoyed coming to work.”

 

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Posted by Ashlyn Korienek

Ashlyn is the cops & courts and city reporter for the Manistee News Advocate. You can reach her at (231) 398-3109 or akorienek@pioneergroup.com

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