Bud Hunter of Hunter Auto Group Honored with Lifetime Achievement Award

Top Quote Hendersonville and Asheville Business owner honored for service. End Quote
  • Greenville-Spartanburg-Anderson, SC (1888PressRelease) August 21, 2012 - Following the tradition established by his father and grandfather before him, Bud Hunter of the Hunter Automotive Group received the North Carolina Automobile Dealers' Association's (NCADA) most prestigious honor, the Lifetime Achievement Award.

    The NCADA's Lifetime Achievement Award is the most coveted honor in the North Carolina automotive industry. It is in recognition of a dealer who has displayed a lifelong commitment to the automobile industry and who embodies the true spirit of successful entrepreneurs, community leaders, and industry groundbreakers.

    Bud Hunter was a standout athlete at Hendersonville High School were he was an All American basketball and football player. After graduating from Davidson College in 1960, Bud served in Korea with Army Intelligence before returning to Hendersonville to work at Hunter Chevrolet with his father, Tom, and brother, Hal. He worked his way up the ladder, learning how the all aspects of the business operated. Bud and Hal took over the business and successfully ran it for more than forty years adding several franchises and another location before turning the reins over to their sons, Tom and Randy. Hunter Automotive Group is now one of the largest auto dealers in Western North Carolina with 2011 sales of $67 million.

    "As a company, it's never a one-man show. Bud was always cognizant of this fact," said Bud's brother and business partner, Hal Hunter. "Our father always told us, 'I'm going to pass you the ball and it's what you do with it that counts. If you continue to win games, you can keep the ball rolling.' Bud and I always managed to keep the ball rolling."

    Keeping his father and grandfather's business in the family was always important to Bud. His and Hal's teamwork was so successful that they were able to pass the business along to the fourth generation. As far as statistics go, this is no small feat. According to The Family Business School, only 30 percent of family owned businesses transition successfully to the second generation, with this figure sharply dropping to 12 percent between the second and third generations, and even farther down to 3 percent between third and fourth generations.

    "My uncle Bud always said, 'You measure twice and cut once.' What made him different is that he looked down the road, not just up the block, but way down the street…looking for new opportunities that would allow our business to grow," said Randy Hunter, Bud's nephew and co-owner of the Hunter Automotive Group. "His leadership and decision-making skills definitely made for a viable, successful business; the one we have today."

    "My father thoroughly understood that customers and employees are the heart of the business," said Tom Hunter, Bud's son and current president of the Hunter Automotive Group. "He always said that if you took care of your customers and your employees that they would take care of the business. That's what he always said and he stuck by it, and that's the philosophy our business thrives on today."

    Bud Hunter has been an active dealer and community servant throughout his five-decade career in the industry, with some of his contributions including support for Henderson County Chamber of Commerce, Henderson County Community Foundation, Salvation Army, YMCA, North Carolina Nature Conservancy (Chairman), North Carolina Heritage Trust Fund (Director), and Warren Wilson College (Board of Visitors).

    "It's been so rewarding to have been in a situation where you could give back to your community and help it grow, help it to be a good place to be and to live," said Bud Hunter. "That's the sort of thing I was able to do in my position, and that's been my greatest reward."

    Press release date: 8/20/2012
    Contact: Sarah Edwards
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    210 S. Pinellas Ave. #112
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