Krandall Howell’s career in auto sales has gone from Beetles to Buicks, and GM recently recognized him for keeping its products on his lots — and on local roads — for the past 25 years.
Howell received a plaque from the auto giant recognizing him for a quarter century of sales at Howell Motors in Summit, which sells Buick and GMC Truck, along with Nissan products.
“It is really nice,” he said. “To make it in the car business today, it takes really good management, you have to be fortunate and you have to have a good product, have good people working with you and for you. We have been blessed through the years to have good people. That has been a real key. I appreciate General Motors and the honor. Twenty-five years is a long time.”
Howell started selling cars when he was in college, when he and his father Willie Howell went into business in April 1964 selling Volkswagons in McComb.
“We were given the Volkswagon franchise and we signed the paperwork in 1963 and opened in 1964,” he said. “My father was in the wholesale and retail business in Summit, so our family has done retail business in McComb and Pike County for over 70 years. This will be our 56th year in the automobile business in McComb.”
Just like when he went into business with his father, Howell’s son Paige joined the business and is now its owner and president.
Howell said he made sure to pass along the knowledge his dad instilled upon him to Paige.
“My father’s philosophy was no one will take care of your business better than you, so you better run your business,” he said. “And his other philosophy was it is best to take care of your customers than to lose them and try to get them back. And a good work ethic. Also, to surround yourselves with good people.”
Howell Motors is still going strong, and his grandson Kran is now working at the business as well. His son-in-law Scott Thompson is operations manager.
Receiving the award has been an honor for Howell, who has seen many other dealers come and go over the decades.
“I am so proud because most people don’t last this long,” he said. “Family-owned businesses are sort of fading by the wayside. I am really honored that we made it this long. And you wouldn’t have made it this long if you haven’t been doing things right.
“If you don’t run a good business, and particularly an automobile business, and don’t take care of customers, don’t honor that warranty, if you just don’t take care of them, then they won’t come back. I appreciate the honor, it is really nice. I appreciate Paige and Scott Thompson, my son-in-law. We have some really good people.”