By John Durkan On: 06:46PM / Thursday April 04, 2013
Derek Dubie, left, Dennis Dubie, Cooper Erickson and Nancy Kolac pose with the trophy for the 50-year partnership between Toyota and K-M Motors.
NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — A lot has changed in the last 50 years, but K-M Motors' relationship with Toyota hasn't.
For that, Toyota Regional General Manager Cooper Erickson awarded the shop with a glass trophy during a brief ceremony Thursday morning at K-M Motors' Curran Highway showroom.
"It's been a great relationship, a great product," said Dennis Dubie, owner of K-M Motors. "The relationship of Toyota and K-M has been fantastic."
Erickson credited K-M Motors, the second oldest Toyota dealership in New England, with taking the risk with Toyota, and then following through with daily operations.
"What made Toyota great was entrepeneurs who wanted to take a chance [with Toyota]," Erickson said. "Toyota was no sure thing in 1963."
Mayor Richard Alcombright also spoke highly of the store, noting its "tremendous customer service" and great location at the "busiest corridor" in the city.
Erickson also recognized office manager Nancy Kolac, who has been working at K-M Motors for those 50 years. She was awarded a gift certificate to Cranwell Resort, Spa and Golf Club in Lenox.
Kolac said the dealership changed a lot since she began working there in 1963. Throughout the earlier years, she worked with a lot of her family — including her father Henry Kolac, the founder of K-M Motors. Since then, the rest of the family moved on.
Nancy Kolac received a gift certificate to Cranwell Resort, Spa and Golf Club in recognition of her 50 years on the staff.
Kolac said some things are still the same. Her appreciation of customers, who she considers more as friends than customers, as well as the challenges the store and those friends face.
"It's almost like you had the same struggle as back then with the economy," Kolac said.
Dubie said K-M Motors is the only new-car retailer in North Adams, believing the waves of recessions have left them the last standing. He said that designation is special, but feels empathetic toward other owners who discontinued service because of the difficult times in the industry.
Henry Kolac first opened K-M Motors, formerly known as Nash North Adams, in 1945. The store was later renamed to K-M Motors after taking a different franchise.
Dubie joined K-M Motors in 1980, partnering with Henry Kolac. After Kolac's death in 1991, Dubie took sole ownership. His son Derek Dubie is the general manager of the shop.
K-M Motors has two locations. The offices at 51 West Main St. does sales, service, body work and sells parts. The 1300 Curran Highway location has the showroom.
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