Dale Howard Auto Center, a locally-owned dealership with more than 45 years of history in Iowa Falls, is growing its reach with the purchase of a dealership in Waverly.
The acquisition of Krueger Auto Truck & Villa was finalized and announced last week. Tony Howard, dealer/principal of Dale Howard Auto Center, said the purchase fits into the company’s growth plans.
“Part of our organizational vision that we put out three years ago is we wanted to be in a position to do this within five years,” said Howard. “We started researching some opportunities with seriousness in May.”
Waverly, which has a population of about 10,000 people, is located in Bremer County, north of Cedar Falls.
“We feel Waverly is a community that is very similar to Iowa Falls,” Howard said. “It has a strong school system, has an anchor in the community with Wartburg College. It’s a very similar dynamic to Iowa Falls, just twice the size.”
Howard said the purchase of Krueger Auto will also get Dale Howard Auto Center closer to the Waterloo/Cedar Falls area, which offers a larger pool of customers and potential employees.
Krueger Auto Truck & Villa, which is a Chrysler, Dodge, Jeep, Ram dealership, is similar to Dale Howard Auto Center in that it’s been owned and operated by the same family for 46 years.
“They decided it was time for them to no longer own the business, but they are thinking about sticking around to still be a part of it,” Howard said.
The purchase won’t have an impact on the Dale Howard Auto Center operations in Iowa Falls. Tony Howard said initially he’ll spend more time in Waverly, but he and his family will continue to live in Iowa Falls. He said the Waverly dealership’s building needs some updates, but the bones of the 21-year-old building are solid.
This will be the first time Dale Howard Auto has acquired a dealership outside Iowa Falls. The Waverly dealership’s new name is Dale Howard Auto Center of Waverly. Howard said he’s excited about the possibilities this new step will present.
“I think it’s a great opportunity for us to serve new markets and hopefully some new people, and create some additional opportunities for our current team members," he said. "We can spread the word – the Dale Howard gospel – and add value for more people and do what we do in more places.
“There are a lot of great dealers in Waverly and northeast Iowa," he added, "and we’re just exited to be one of them."