We caught up with Brad Hackendahl, new general manager at the Fred Beans Toyota Scion and Kia of Flemington, to get some details about the store’s first few months. This is the newest Fred Beans dealership – and the company’s first Toyota franchise and first dealership in New Jersey. That’s a lot of firsts. What does it mean for Brad, for the organization, for the community?
Tell us about the employees at your dealership, Brad.
We have 73 employees at the two dealerships (Toyota Scion and Kia are officially two franchises). Of these, 58 of them chose to stay with the store from the previous ownership arrangement and 11 are new hires; 4 were already Fred Beans employees from other locations.
What is on your plate for the near future?
Good question. Over the last two months of 2012, we focused our efforts internally to set us up for a successful first full year in Flemington. For 2013, Fred Beans and I will be actively looking to participate in our local community.
What might that involvement include?
I think first on the list will be joining the Hunterdon County Chamber of Commerce and seeing how we might contribute there. The Beans family and company have been closely allied with the Central Bucks Chamber, and the outlying stores in Devon, West Chester, Limerick and Boyertown have been active in their local Chambers, so we will surely get involved here. Second, we will explore other opportunities to partner with members of the business community on initiatives that link to this company’s strong community values and relate to the automotive industry in some way. I’m thinking of safe driving programs for teens, supporting our schools, encouraging healthy choices in food and lifestyle decisions – among others.
How do you feel, personally, about heading up the organization’s first Toyota dealership?
I feel great about it. I have 22 years with Toyota, so I’m a true believer in the Toyota brand. Adding Toyota complements Fred Beans’s already great line-up of manufacturers and means we have a car for everybody. It’s very exciting.