To say automobiles are in our DNA is an understatement. Todd Wenzel was raised in West Michigan, where his father was a GM employee and UAW member in the Wyoming, Michigan plant for 35 years. Growing up within the strength and solidarity of this GM community made a lasting impression, and laid the foundation for a lifelong commitment to the brand.
When he was 18, Todd began working at a GM dealership in Grand Rapids. His knowledge of and passion for the auto industry was evident, and he was quickly promoted to Finance Director. It was during this time that he set his sights to one day own his own dealership.
Fast forward to 1995, when the story of Todd Wenzel Automotive was just beginning in Portland, Maine. As a new dealer, Todd’s vision of reinventing the customer experience was taking shape. Success quickly followed, and soon Todd became New England’s largest volume Chevrolet dealer. Around this time he met an 18-year-old named Pete Ferris. A meeting that would have a profound and unwavering impact for the next 25 years.
Like Todd, Pete had also grown up in a GM family. His father owned a successful Chevrolet dealership in Maine, and from a young age Pete couldn’t get enough of the car business. Time after school and summer vacations were spent helping out at his father’s dealership. In fact, he sold his first vehicle when he was just 15.
So it’s no surprise that when Todd met Pete he saw potential in the young salesman, giving him the same opportunity he had been given at 18. Under Todd’s leadership, Pete quickly rose through the ranks from Salesperson to General Sales Manager, becoming a trusted and respected partner in the business. Twenty-three years later, Todd says his biggest success was hiring and building a life-long relationship with Pete, who is now our COO and Vice President. But while Todd’s dealerships were thriving, one thing was missing: living and doing business in West Michigan. It was time to return home.