Multigenerational auto business focuses on transition planning
When Black Hills-area drivers think Ford and Lincoln brands, the name McKie immediately comes to mind.
The family-owned dealership McKie Ford Lincoln has served Rapid City and the surrounding area since 1979.
There are two generations and three family members working in the business, which recently won the Coca-Cola Excellence in Family Business award from the Prairie Family Business Association.
President Mark McKie shared his thoughts on what’s behind the family’s legacy.
What are some of the things you credit the most for your longevity and success as a family business?
Our award-winning customer service and our treatment of our employees. Our manufacturer relationships have also been very strong. All three of these relationships are critical to running a successful automobile dealership.
You’ve transitioned the business through multiple generations and continue to do so. What are some strategies you have found especially effective in doing that?
All family members have attended and graduated from the National Automobile Dealers Association Dealer Academy, which has given each family member a foundation specifically tailored to the automobile dealer retail business. This also gives family members a fantastic opportunity to learn and network with other dealerships.
What’s the biggest challenge you’ve faced as a family business, and how would you recommend others address going through something similar?
Our biggest challenges have been maintaining open communication and succession planning. I would recommend other family businesses seek professional advice early and often when starting the succession-planning process.
How has the Prairie Family Business Association helped support your needs as a family business?
The Prairie Family Business Association has provided networking opportunities and resources to help us transition from generation to generation.
What’s next for your business? Do you anticipate future generations assuming leadership roles?
Transitioning to the next generation and overall growth of our businesses. The third generation are already in leadership roles in the McKie businesses, and they will continue to move forward and assume larger roles in the company. It is always a family business’ dream that there will still be family members running our company for many years to come.