From The Start
Reprint from: THE WASHINGTON TIMES
Friday, October 26, 2007 Sport Chevrolet/Honda
THE WASHINGTON TIMES
R. Robert Hicks, was a regional manager for Chevrolet in an era (pre-World War II) when GM managers were moved around the country. Mr. Hicks lived in Buffalo, New Orleans and Baltimore before settling in Towson. He established a Chevrolet dealership at 5929 Georgia Ave and named it Hicks Chevrolet. The dealership was eventually sold to the Dworkin family in 1965 but Mr. Hicks remained heavily involved in the industry.
His grandson, George A Fogarty, worked for Motors Holding, a lending institution that provided finances to new dealerships, providing him the education necessary to succeed in the auto business. Mr. Fogarty was eventually involved in the operation of 16 Chevrolet dealerships including McKay (Fairfax) and Criswell (Gaithersburg). He developed a theory that "auto malls" would be the wave of the future and eventually established Sport Chevrolet in 1968, settling in Silver Spring.
Robert Fogarty, Mr. Fogarty's son, is the third generation to work in the auto business. He started in 1974 in Orlando, Fla. at Don Mealey Chevrolet after graduating from Williams College.
He worked at the dealership for three years before returning to this area, where he joined Sport Chevrolet. He became Dealer Principal in 1984, five years before his father died.
During the 1980s Sport Chevrolet had eight acres devoted to selling cars and an additional 4 acres devoted to truck sales, with more than 250 cars and 150 trucks sold each month. In 1988 a Jeep franchise was acquired (Sport Jeep) and eventually sold to the Darcars organization. In 1995 a Honda franchise was acquired and Sport Honda now occupies four acres in Silver Spring near the Chevrolet dealership. The Sport dealerships employ 240 persons, including the fourth generation of the family. Mr. Fogarty's son, Robert Jr., graduated from Duke University in 2004 and works with the organization.
Mr. Fogarty said he's proud of Sport's employee retention and the large number of repeat and referral customers. Because of these traits the dealerships enjoy the highest customer satisfaction ratings from Chevrolet and Honda. "Faceless, nameless dealerships can't compare to fourth generation businesses like ours," says Mr. Fogarty.
Mr. Fogarty is active in business and civic organizations. He is a board member of the Washington Area New Automobile Dealers Association and a member of the Board of Trade. He is also a member of the Board of Trustees of Landon School and actively supports a large number of other organizations.