After over 40 years as a fixture in the St. Louis car business, Dan Behlmann has moved his family’s Buick and GMC dealership
Dan Behlmann, left, and Doug Kohnen, right, owners of the new Behlmann Buick GMC Cadillac, now open in Troy, Mo.
to Troy. Having purchased the Marquitz dealership from Denny Marquitz on Oct. 15, Behlmann is now happy to announce the opening of the new Behlmann Buick GMC Cadillac, located at Hwy. 47 off Hwy. 61.
“We loved our many years of doing business in North County, first in Florissant and then Hazelwood,” said Behlmann, “and we’re very appreciative of our thousands of loyal customers. But times change, and those changes have taken us to Troy and we are very excited about the future.”
Behlmann says he sees this move as a chance to return to his family’s business roots. “When my father, Ken Behlmann, first opened Behlmann GMC in 1971, we were more of a small, neighborhood dealership. The huge success we enjoyed allowed us to open a very large facility in Hazelwood in 1990, and we soon became one of the largest GM dealers in the country. This move to Troy, though, means we can get back to the smaller business model that made Behlmann a success in the first place.”
Also part of the team will be Behlmann’s new business partner, Doug Kohnen. Kohnen has over 25 years of dealership experience, including general manager positions with Behlmann in Hazelwood and Pundmann Ford in St. Charles. “Dan and I want to make this store the best place to buy a Buick, GMC, Cadillac, or pre-owned vehicle in the state,” said Kohnen. “The brand new showroom we have will help customers feel very comfortable. And our service department and collision repair center are also primed for growth.”
Behlmann says they are pleased to be able to keep the entire Marquitz staff in place. “From sales to service to parts to the office staff, these people have a great relationship with this community and our customers. They will all do a great job in continuing the Behlmann tradition of making satisfied customers for life.”
As far as Denny Marquitz is concerned, after 37 years in the car business and 28 years doing business in Troy he says he’s glad to have found two people like Behlmann and Kohnen to take over the reigns. “It was very important to me that the new owners continue the level of customer service that we’ve been known for. I couldn’t be more pleased with the Behlmann group. Bottom line, I’ll be able to sleep well at night knowing that my customers and my employees are in great hands.”
The Marquitz dealership had been heavily involved in the Troy area over the years, supporting local schools and charities, and Marquitz is proud of all they accomplished. “I really do want to thank all of my customers and my very talented staff for making Marquitz Motors what it was, and I look forward to watching the new Behlmann Buick GMC Cadillac reach even greater heights.”
One of the things Dan Behlmann is most excited about is the dealership’s location. “This whole area is growing, but it still feels like a small town. All the people I’ve met so far have been great,” he said. “But we’re also so close to areas like Wentzville, O’Fallon, Lake St. Louis and St. Peters, we want to reach out to those customers and become their best choice for sales and service, too.”
He even thinks his old customers from St. Louis County will find it closer than they may think, and well worth the drive. “Doug and I would love to see some of our past customers out here. We know we can provide better service than other options they may have now, and I hope they give us a chance.”
“Plus we can offer them Cadillacs now, which we couldn’t do before,” added Kohnen.
The Behlmann family saw great success during the 1980s and 1990s, selling thousands of conversion vans to customers all across the Midwest. Already the largest GMC dealer in the country, they added Pontiac in 1990 and quickly became #1 in Pontiac sales, as well. They added Buick in 2007. In January 2013, Dan Behlmann sold the Hazelwood dealership to a group of investors.
The new Behlmann Buick GMC Cadillac is located at 142 Frenchman Bluff Road in Troy, which is right off Hwy. 61 at the Hwy. 47 exit. They can be reached by phone at 636-462-3600, or on-line at www.behlmann.com.