By Bill O’DrisollThe Scott family has retired from the Reno automotive stage.
Scott Motors has sold its Land Rover franchise to family-owned Findlay Auto of Las Vegas, which reopened this week on the site at 2401 S. Virginia St. as Land Rover Reno.
Scott Motors was operated by the Scott family for more than 80 years, mostly as Cadillac and Buick franchises, which were sold to Winkel Motors three years ago. Now, with the sale of its remaining Land Rover business, the Scott family has closed a personal chapter in Reno business history that dates to the Great Depression.
“I’m 76 years old, and it’s high time I retired,” said Ben Scott, whose father, William Keith Scott, started Scott Motors in 1929, selling Buicks in downtown Reno.
In 1961, as the city grew, the family moved the dealership out of downtown to its current location south of the Plumb Lane-Virginia Street intersection. At the time, that was on the outskirts of town and six years before Park Lane Mall would rise across the street.
“We were out in the country,” Ben Scott said in a 2010 interview. “It was farmland all around us.”
But the time had come, Scott said Wednesday, to sell the remaining business.
“The family didn’t see it as a good investment going forward,” he said.
“It was a hard thing to do. But it’s the right thing to do.”
In 2010, the Scott family sold its General Motors franchises to Winkel as a consequence of General Motors Corp.’s announcement in 2009 that it was ending franchise agreements with 1,100 U.S. dealers as part of bankruptcy reorganization proceedings.
In 2011, Winkel, then a GMC franchise, reopened under the name Reno Buick GMC Cadillac on the Winkel property on Kietzke Lane.
The Scott family retained its Land Rover franchise first acquired in 1989 before selling to Findlay Auto. Findlay, with more than two dozen dealerships in Arizona, Nevada, Utah and Idaho, also operates Audi Reno Tahoe, which it opened last year in south Reno.
Matt Nicol, general manager at Land Rover Reno, said the transition has been seamless for Findlay Auto, first started in Las Vegas in 1961, and the company’s eight employees in Reno.
“One of the nice things is we’re so large we have access to pre-owned inventory at all 28 (Findlay) stores now,” Nicol said.
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