Farris Motor Company – A Dealership for the People
Farris Motor Company in Jefferson City Tennessee is owned by Jason Farris, THE Dealer for the People, and his Father Johnny Wayne Farris.
Jason is one of the youngest dealers in America and this, well this is his story. This isn’t a story filled with heartbreak or drama, so why should you read this? You should read this because Jason has discovered the deep dark secret to what has been so wrong for so long with the automotive and lending business that it has become the rightful boogieman that it is today. In this groundbreaking discovery though, he also found the cure. In order to understand this cure, you have to understand Jason, because once you understand who he is and what he stands for, buying a car will never be the same.
The story begins shortly after the turn of the century (the 20th century, not the 21st) when Jason’s Great Granddad, Otis Wayne Farris, started working on cars out of his garage. Now Jason never knew his Great Granddad, but to this day the old timers will tell him stories about O.W. fixing cars to perfection with nothing but bailing wire and a monkey wrench. As the story goes, Otis was such an expert mechanic that Chrysler flew him to Detroit to help improve the design of the struggling Desoto brand. For his work, Chrysler gave him the opportunity to start the local franchise. So, in 1931, Farris Motor Company was born.
O.W. eventually retired and his son John (Jason’s Granddad for those getting confused) took over Farris Motor Company, and many years after that John’s son, Johnny Wayne (they aren’t very original with names) became the dealer. Most of these decades passed with great success, they treated customers with respect, listened to people’s needs, worked to always do the right thing, and be good members of the community. With each passing decade though, at dealerships all over the country, this practice of helping customer’s became more and more rare.
People say it is always darkest before the light, and this story holds that saying true. As times hardened and the economy crumbled, the once great businesses of America lost their way. They chased the almighty dollar at the expense of fair treatment, substituted service for an easy buck, and seized opportunities from the misfortune of others. Unfortunately, the auto industry were not immune to this. Dealers all over the country went to war every day to take advantage of their customers and maximize their profits on the backs of hard working people like you. Customers who needed help, needed to be listened to, needed to be served were ignored. The reality of the world changed, and with it, the car business died.
Johnny Wayne’s son, Jason, followed in the footsteps of the three generations before him. He grew up in the business pulling the weeds and cleaning up the cigarette butts around the dealership, washing and fixing cars. After high school, although he loved the car business, Jason wasn’t sure if it was what he wanted to spend his life doing. He had seen unhappy customers and heard all the horror stories about buying a car. Who would want to deal with that for the rest of their life? So he went to college and then earned his graduate degree. He figured once he got his degree he could move away from the car business and do something meaningful and purposeful with his life. After school Jason took up a job at another dealership selling cars. It was only temporary he thought. Why not make a few bucks while sending out resumes and going to interviews.
While selling cars Jason saw it all. Customer’s being pushed, intimidated, taken advantage of. Lies and deceit were the name of the game. One evening, a customer came to buy a car that had recently lost their job. A baby was on the way and their current car just wasn’t safe or big enough. Unfortunately, the sales people and manager just didn’t care. They laughed at the customer’s credit and situation before telling them to leave.
Lying in bed that night, Jason thought back over the events of the day. He thought of the customer and their new baby. He thought about how happy they should be, not scared about finding something safe for their kid to ride in or their troubled credit score. As the hours passed, sleep did not come. What did come though was an idea, and with that idea a passion. An idea and passion that these people where no different than anyone else. Sure, they were people with unique needs and circumstances, but why did that mean that no one should help them? Didn’t everyone have a unique need or circumstance? Wasn’t that the great thing about people anyway, that we are all different? As the sun came up that morning Jason made a vow.
He vowed that he would be different. He vowed that morning that he would spend his life changing the business that had fallen from its noble beginnings from the inside. He vowed that he would go back to his family’s store and make a difference, a difference so big it would change the industry forever. He vowed he would never pay his employee’s commission, instead he would pay them to listen, care, and advise. He vowed he would never turn a customer away because of their credit or any other prior mistake. He vowed he would never push, lie, or deceive a customer into doing something they shouldn’t. Mostly though he vowed he would be of the people and for the people. He would be the Dealer for the People.