Greystoke Chevrolet-Cadillac Inc. buys Sherwood Chevrolet

By Megan R. Harrell
Star Staff

   Sherwood Chevrolet, Johnson City, opened under new ownership this morning. Greystoke Chevrolet-Cadillac-Subaru-Volkswagen Inc. has purchased the car dealership after more than six months of negotiations.
   Amie Pearson always thought that she would be the owner of a car dealership, she just did not think it would happen this soon. Greystoke owners, Amie Pearson and Renae Mullins, have been around the automotive business their entire lives. They have worked with their father, Steve Grindstaff, owner of Grindstaff Automotive Group, Elizabethton, in all departments including service and administrative. "Amie started out when she was 13 years old answering phones, so they have always been around car dealerships," Grindstaff said.
   The sisters, who share ownership equally, hope to capitalize on their gender to bring a different touch to the automotive business. "We are going to try to bring a softer approach to try to get people to come here," Pearson said.
   The Greystoke owners stated that their mission is to provide all of their customers with the same treatment no matter where they come from. "We will work hard and with courteous service anything can be accomplished," Mullins said.
   The land surrounding the Greystoke lot has also been purchased and the owners are planning to build new Subaru and Volkswagen dealerships and service departments. They are also working to add three more franchises surrounding the lot. "I think the girls adding them is going to be a plus, because me adding them is different from two women wanting to add them," Grindstaff said.
   The new owners stated that they are ready to accept the day to day challenges that lie before them. One of the challenges will be competing with their father. "They are going to try to beat me," Grindstaff said.
   Chevrolet sales will be the only competition between the father and daughters. Grindstaff Automotive does not sell Subaru or Volkswagen.
   Mullins will be in competition with her husband as well as her father. Mullins' husband is the executive vice-president of Grindstaff Automotive. Pearson's husband is a lineman at the Elizabethton Electric System, where he chooses to stay.
   Greystoke plans to become the number one Cadillac dealership in the Southeast. It hopes to increase its Cadillac inventory to include as many as 100 vehicles on the lot.
   Only one sales manager from Sherwood Chevrolet will remain at Greystoke. Steven Thornsberry, the Subaru and Volkswagen manager, will be the only sales manager to stay at the dealership, while three managers have been brought over from Grindstaff Automotive in Elizabethton. Mike Morgan will be the used car manager at Greystoke, Beth Sullivan is going to be the manager of the secondary finance department, and Russ Kauffeld will be Greystoke's new Chevrolet sales manager.
   According to Kauffeld, Sherwood Chevrolet stopped buying new vehicles a few months ago in anticipation of the buy out. All of the new vehicles on the lot were purchased by Greystoke as part of the franchise agreement. The used cars on Sherwood's old lot are currently being appraised and will be negotiated between the ownerships.