In 1915, Bernard Gates drove from Lagotee, Indiana to Detroit to buy a Dodge from the Dodge brothers. After selling that car, he started running his business out of a livery stable. By the mid-1940s, he was one of America’s largest Desoto dealers.
Bernard’s son Bud was a well-known race-car driver and Indianapolis TV personality. He also ran one of the largest GM dealerships in the Midwest and Indiana’s premiere Toyota dealer: Bud Gates ToyotaTown.
In 1988, Steve Gates joined uncle, Bob McKamey, and bought a failing Richmond, Kentucky Toyota store, and three years later it was the top Toyota customer satisfaction dealership in America.
Since then, Steve has repeatedly won Toyota’s highest national honors for customer satisfaction. He now owns dealerships in Kentucky, Tennessee, and Indiana. His daughter, Mackenzie, joined the family business in 2015.
Four generations of car people.