Findlay dealerships embrace family

If Findlay Automotive Group President Cliff Findlay seems proud nowadays, there is good reason.

The father of three sons, Findlay sits atop one of the nation's largest privately owned chain of automobile dealerships. Each son is now a general manager of a dealership within the Findlay Automotive Group.

His oldest son, Justin Findlay, 36, is the general manager at Findlay Chevrolet; Nathan Findlay, 32, spearheads operations at Findlay Lincoln Mercury in the Valley Automall; and Robby Findlay, 29, heads Findlay Toyota in Flagstaff, Ariz.

Cliff Findlay's sons mark the third generation of family members to enter the industry.

The story began more than 50 years ago when Cliff Findlay's father, Pete Findlay, started buying and selling used cars while operating a small car lot in Panaca, about 160 miles north of Las Vegas. A true visionary, the elder Findlay moved his family and his business operations to Southern Nevada in the late 1950s to open what was called Pete's Used Cars on Fremont Street, and a true tradition began in the local car business.

Today, the Findlays have grown to include 21 dealerships in Utah, Nevada, Arizona and Idaho.

"You bet I'm proud," said Cliff Findlay of his sons. "Each one of the boys has earned his way and I'm confident in their decisions as heads of their dealerships. They all have excellent managerial skills. While any one of them could have gone on to do something else, they chose to join our company and I'm tickled to death that they did.

"All four of our kids have graduated from college. Robby went to Brown University, Nathan went to UNLV and Justin graduated from USF."

Cliff Findlay's daughter, Marisa Findlay, also graduated with a marketing degree and works for Fox Sports.

Especially interesting is that each of sons started out working in either automotive sales or as a lot porter before being elevated to their general manager positions.

"It's great going to work every day knowing the place you work at bears your last name and we take pride in that fact," said Robby Findlay, who has been a general manager at the Findlay Toyota store in Flagstaff for about 18 months. "Our family is a tribute to the car business and we love working together."

Robby Findlay entered the car business working for Justin Findlay at Findlay Volkswagen in 2003. He originally planned to be an attorney.

"I actually majored in political science and once I started working I realized that it was more fun interacting with people than it was sitting in a classroom for the next three years. The car business is great and our organization is also doing very well."

"I feel blessed to have the opportunity to actually be a general manager and one day an owner," Nathan Findlay said. "Our parents made us go through the different steps to earn our way. We had to graduate from college to be considered for a general manager position while also gaining a general understanding of any given store's different departments.''

"The thing I enjoy about working day to day in the Vegas car business is that I always run into people who share stories of their past experiences with my grandfather and my dad," said Justin Findlay. "We are blessed with two great role models that paved the way and set great examples for us. We look forward to serving Las Vegas for many years to come."