Ron Jacobsen believes that his children have inherited his business sense, but more than that, they have highly developed "people skills", the most important aspect of dealing with the public.
Ron Jacobsen, his wife Muriel and their two children, Shayne and Rhonda, came to Kelowna in 1971 with the ambition to build a substantial automotive dealership. "The market is far more competitive today," says Jacobsen. "There were only about 6 significant car manufacturers in 1971, today there are 20 or 30." Even so, the ever increasing competition has not stopped Jacobsen from selling upwards of 1800 vehicles in a single year.
From his office above the showroom containing a half a doen new vehicles Jacobsen talks about his son Shayne, who always showed an interest in cars and his father's business. "He used to wash cars after school and on Saturdays," says the proud father. "He always kept himself busy with things like that. After graduation he worked in the parts and service departments and then sales." Ron Jacobsen expects his son to continue working on in the business, (now as the General Manager), for some years to come. Perhaps he will become a dealer himself oneday, he has experience in all ascpects now."
His daughter Rhonda also got encouragement to join the firm. She wasn't given a typical female position in those days but as a sales representative. "Rhonda is not typical, you can't say that about her, " Jacobsen Sr. says. "She became one of the first lady auto sales persons in the city. She's even more of a people person than her brother so sales seemed to be the best place to make use of her talents." He reports that she had been doing some modelling and selling cosmetics and he noticed that she had an extremely good rapport with people. He thought that he could access those good qualities and give the business the feminine touch it lacked.
Jacobsen Sr. believes his children have inherited his business sense, but more than that, they have highly developed people skills, the most important aspect of dealing with the public. This is something that Sr. admit is not one of his best traits. Instead he keeps his eye on running the administrative end of a major dealership.
It is obvious that Ron Jacobsen's attention to detail has netted his family a good return. He is a careful man who oversee many functions of the business, but readily asks his family for advice.
Yes, things have changed over the years. ron Jacobsen's children are no longer children, but are seriously involved in the business. Cars have changes a great deal and the market has changed, but many things have stayed the same. Jacobsen GM is still a family business, the Mrs. still comes in to do the payables and fill in if they get behind, and Ron still plans to work on his business progressively.
So what does the future hold? Ron Jacobsen thinks of the most important things in life and the business he sacrificed so much for and admits that "in the back of my mind, I hope that it will remain in the family".
Well, Mr. Jacobsen, it looks like your dream is coming true.
2727 Highway 97 NorthKELOWNA, BC V1X 4J8