Bill Fox Chevrolet celebrates 50th anniversary as Chevrolet dealership

By: Eric Czarnik, | Sterling Heights Sentry | Published October 3, 2017

Fifty years after its founding, Bill Fox Chevrolet is celebrating its golden anniversary and is quite at home among businesses in the community.

On Sept. 22, the Rochester Hills-based dealership was given an award for its 50th anniversary. General Sales Manager Robert Shastal said leaders from General Motors Co. and Chevrolet visited the dealership to offer the award to the business’s founder, Bill Fox, and his son and current Bill Fox Chevrolet owner, John Fox. 

The leadership in attendance included Chevrolet U.S. Vice President Brian Sweeney, Chevrolet Zone Manager John Fitzpatrick and Chevrolet District Manager Mark Shafer. Shastal described the significance of the event.

“It’s something that not a lot of dealers out there are able to accomplish, and it means a lot to us and all the employees,” he said.

According to John Fox, before he took over the business, his father originally bought the dealership in March 1967. The elder Fox originally was thinking about acquiring a Volkswagen dealership in Port Huron, but a friend told him about the opportunity to buy a Chevrolet dealership in the Rochester area.

“He made the decision that Rochester and Chevrolet was a better call,” John Fox said. 

Fox explained that the business is currently experiencing its greatest sales volume ever, thanks to the popularity of vehicles such as the Equinox, Traverse, Silverado and Malibu. He said some of the business’s most trying times occurred during the last big recession several years ago, when General Motors declared bankruptcy.  

According to Shastal, during the last recession, the dealership only made about one-third of the business it had been accustomed to. Nevertheless, the staff persevered until recovery came.

“The Fox family did everything they could to cut costs, but they didn’t cut personnel,” Shastal said. 

Fox said the dealership is looking ahead to stay competitive in the market. For instance, he said the business is moving more toward digital marketing.

“The auto industry is dramatically changing each and every single day,” Fox said. “I’ve been in the business since 1989 full-time, and I can’t even begin to express how much it’s changed. We’re constantly evolving in terms of how we market to our customers.”

According to management, Bill Fox Chevrolet is committed to its customers by offering benefits for buyers. One example is the dealerships’ maintenance of a rental fleet of around 70 cars, which customers may use while they are waiting for service or body shop repairs. The dealership also offers a collision reimbursement for up to $500 to pay toward the deductible after an auto accident. 

Besides selling cars and trucks, Bill Fox Chevrolet has also earned a longstanding reputation for charity and community sponsorship in the Rochester area. Throughout its five decades, it has donated to school causes and Leader Dogs for the Blind, and for several years it has sponsored The Big, Bright Light Show in downtown Rochester, which illuminates small businesses with colorful lights and promotes the downtown’s character and charm during the colder, dark months.

Shastal said customers’ patronage and the dealerships’ outreach is “a full circle that’s good for the community.” 

Bill Fox Chevrolet is located at 725 S. Rochester Road in Rochester Hills. Find out more by visiting www.chevybyfox.com or by calling (248) 651-7000.