||"I am just an
old used car salesman..." His eyes twinkled, his smile was genuine and
he never forgot where he started. That was Dan Vaden, the heart and soul
of The Vaden Automotive Group. Having graduated from the University of
Florida, he began his career in the car business as a used car sales
trainee in Jacksonville, Florida. After 15 years, he had worked
his way up to General Manager and part-owner. So, when General
Motors approached him about an opportunity in Savannah, he packed up
his wife and two young daughters and started Dan Vaden Chevrolet on an
old dairy farm. That was 1968.|
A lot has happened since then. In 1980, Mr. Vaden began expanding and adding other franchises and locations. Today, the Vaden family operates ten dealerships in Savannah and the Lowcountry with a variety of both domestic and import brands.
In 1992, Mr. Vaden was chosen as one of the top eight new-car dealers in the United States, winning the prestigious Time Magazine Quality Dealer Award.
In 2006, The Vaden Automotive Group won the Better Business Bureau's Diane Wahrman Torch Award for Marketplace Ethics.
In 2008, Mr. Vaden received the Savannah business community's highest honor when he was inducted into the Savannah Business Hall of Fame, in recognition of his quiet leadership and support of many community projects throughout his career.
Dan Vaden passed away at home, December 7th, 2010.
Mr. Vaden has often told his employees, "I don't sign your paycheck, your customers do." It's that philosophy that has helped the organization grow to serve hundreds of thousands of customers across the Southeast. "Our business is a people business. We treat our employees and customers as partners because, ultimately, they are responsible for our success."