Rolling on new wheels; Asa Auto Plaza purchases Usem Inc.
Published 10:22 am Tuesday, January 17, 2017
After over 90 years of ownership by the Sherman family, the Usem Inc. dealership has been sold.
New owner Todd Asa opened the business under its new name, Asa Auto Plaza of Austin, on Thursday, Jan. 12.
And while there are changes that come with any new owner, Asa said his focus will remain on building relationships with customers.
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“We will be price competitive, sure; but we’re more interested in who you are and providing the services that you need,” said Todd Asa. “We believe in building relationships.”
“We” includes his general manager, his son, Tanner. While Todd Asa is the owner, Tanner Asa will be the on-site face at the Austin Buick, Chevrolet and GMC car dealership.
Asa has plenty of experience to back up his new acquisition. He is the owner of Asa Auto Plaza of Jackson, Minnesota, where he operates a Chevrolet-Chrysler-Dodge-Jeep-Ram dealership. He has 17 years of experience as a car dealer and owner.
He is a native of Kossuth County, Iowa, and the small farming town of Titonka. He earned an accounting degree at the University of Northern Iowa and worked for a time as a certified public accountant at McGladrey and Pullen and then as a controller for Midwest Wheel, both in Des Moines.
The pull of a less-hectic life and birth of their twin sons prompted Asa and his wife, Tracy, to move to a smaller community.
“We were small-town farm kids,” he said, adding an early goal was to work on the family farm.
But his career journey led to an Algona car dealer and then a few years later, he became a partner in the Jackson dealership, later becoming the sole owner.
He met Usem owner Tom Sherman when they were both members of a focus group of car dealers and that relationship later led to the eventual purchase of Usem, Asa said.
“He knew that relationships with customers, and in the community, were important to me,” he said.
Tanner Asa also holds an accounting degree from UNI and worked in the accounting field for a time. He and his wife, Taylor, have purchased a home in Austin and are eager to become part of the community, Todd said.
Todd said he has plans for the business but first will want to establish relationships with his new 24 employees who will also be learning about the Asa system of operation.
He is excited about serving both the city and rural populations and said he is committed to community involvement.
The dealership at 703 17th Ave. NW, also offers Buick, Chevrolet and GMC service and parts, online inventory, and financing. Sales hours are 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. Mondays and Thursdays; 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Fridays; and 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturdays. For more, go to the dealership web site at http://www.asaautoplazaaustin.com/
Overall, Todd said he wants people to know that the Asa’s are committed to providing great vehicles and automotive services that customers will appreciate. When you build good relationships, he said, you want to do all you can to help people buy the vehicle they need.
“We’ll do everything we can to figure that out,” he said. “Family does that for family – and we’re all about family.”