Crotty Chevrolet Buick, 45300 Route 6, reached its 51st year in business in September.
Rob, 59, and John “Chop” Crotty, 66, both of Corry, are brothers and co-owners of the business originally bought by their father, Jack Crotty.
A 50th-year celebration was planned for the spring but the ongoing pandemic put a wrench into those plans, Chop said.
The business was forced to shut down for March and most of April but reopened for online business at the end of April when qualified state notaries were approved to perform remote online notarizations.
When face-to-face sales were permitted again in May, business went back to normal, Rob said.
“It was awfully tough to sell a vehicle when you couldn’t see somebody face to face,” Chop said. “We couldn’t sell a vehicle because customers couldn’t test drive it, so once those restrictions were lifted, that’s when we became very busy.”
Chop went on to say it seemed like there was a pent-up demand because March and April are usually big months for selling cars.
“Has it affected our business? Yes, but we’re kind of excited that once the restrictions were lifted we went right back to where we were,” Rob said.
Jack bought Turben Chevrolet Oldsmobile with Bob Ferrando from Bill Turben in September 1969, Chop said. It remains in the same location where it all started.
That was the year the family moved to Corry. Chop graduated from Corry Area High School in 1972 and Rob’s graduation was in 1980.
Jack purchased Ferrando’s part of the business in 1980.
Rob and Chop started working at the dealership when each turned 15. John started his full-time position at age 17. Rob started full time in 1984.
The brothers took over after their father retired in 1985, and the Buick Pontiac dealership in Corry was purchased from Norm Upperman in 2006.
Pontiacs and Oldsmobiles are no longer manufactured, so the Crottys moved on with Chevrolets and Buicks.
Though they’ve had to make adjustments to evolve with the times, Rob said the principles that made it a successful business under their father have stood the test of time.
Mainly, take very good care of the customer, Rob said.
“What he used to tell me is if you just take care of what you have, you’ll be here for a long time. So far he’s been right,” Chop said.
The idea of taking care of the customer didn’t stop there. Chop said they were also taught the importance of taking care of employees, their families and the families of kids in town.
The dealership helps many local organizations including the Corry Salvation Army, Little League, high school athletics and youth sports. Chop said they are also a big supporter of the Corry YMCA.
“Anything that has to do with kids has evolved from my dad — take care of the kids,” Chop said.
Both men take pride in being able to be a part of the community and pay it back for their support for over 51 years.
One other thing the brothers are proud of is their employees, Chop said.
He explained that a majority of their employees have been with them for a long time, including three recent retirees, who were with them for over 20 years.
The “sales force,” Bill Mitchell and Jon Andrus, have each been there for over 20 years. Chop said the service manager and parts manager have also been there for over 20 years.
“I’m proud of our employees and their dedication,” Rob said. “They have helped us be successful through the times.”
The dealership offers new and used car sales, vehicle service and repair, a full parts department, and a detail shop, added in September, to clean and recondition any cars that have been traded-in, Rob said.
Carrying on a business started by their father will continue through the hands of the next generation of the family.
Chop’s son, Shane, will be the one stepping up to assume the mantle at the appropriate time, Chop said.