Driving Business Up, One Car at a Time

BY ADAM HOLMES

It’s close to noon on a Friday morning, and the wide selection of cars at Kendall Auto Group are displayed prominently. Eugene’s biggest car dealership is spread across Goodpasture Island Road, unavoidable to any driver passing by, but at the Budget Auto section, all is quiet.The salesmen stand near the main building waiting for customers to arrive, but for now they are content chatting with each other about various topics.

One salesman has recently come from taking several photos of one of the cars outside. After going inside briefly, he comes back out of the building to check and see if anyone has arrived looking to buy a car. Randy Felix has worked at Kendall Toyota Used Vehicles for over a year now, and today is another day for him to help someone with buying a car at a reasonable price.

Felix is an amiable man, giving off an air of confidence and enthusiasm. Anyone who doesn’t know him might guess that he’s been at this profession for years, however this is not the case. Felix originally attended Saddleback Community College in California to study mechanics, though he ended up leaving after one year. The next couple of years consisted of him working at a variety of jobs, most of them management positions.

By the time he was 21, he managed two Foot Locker stores in Tacoma, Washington, which included working 80 hours a week. He later moved on to managing a health club in Southwest California for ten years, as well as several other management jobs. His last job was spent working at a company called Monaco for ten years.

However, one thing remained a constant for Felix: the hours he worked were too long, and he wasn’t able to as much time with his family as he wanted. So, he decided to go back to school at Lane Community College for two years. His original goal was to study mathematics and use that as a jumping off point to get into electronics, which is where he claims all the good mathematics jobs are.

Despite his interest, he wasn’t able to fulfill this goal due to his colorblindness. He briefly considered becoming an algebra teacher, but instead left LCC and decided to look for another job, although there was difficulty in getting hired, something he speculates may have had something to him being 51 years old. Eventually, he found his current job at Kendall Auto, and has felt at home ever since.

Felix enjoys his work at Kendall because of all the people he gets to meet. Part of his job entails talking with prospective customers and finding out what their needs are when looking for a car. He typically spends 2-3 hours with a customer helping them decide what they need how to budget. Although he hasn’t had previous experience at a dealership, Felix also appreciates how Kendall is spread out over the community, and that they take care of their customers.

“I hate companies that don’t take care of their people,” said Felix.

Not all of his experiences has have been great. On February 16, Felix was expecting a customer to arrive to meet with him about a new car. However, on his way to the dealership, the man got into a car accident. The man recovered, however, and was able to meet with Felix several days later. Other experiences have been more satisfying. One woman he recently assisted was so appreciative of his help that she gave him and his family an Olive Garden gift certificate.

Despite his love for the job, it’s not all work for Felix. A Eugene resident for 16 years, he appreciates all that Oregon has to offer.

“Oregon is a beautiful state,” said Felix. “There’s a lot to do here.”

He was an enthusiastic surfer when he lived in California, although he doesn’t surf as much in Oregon, citing the distance and time constraints as the main reasons for not keeping up with it. Other activities he enjoys are fishing and working out at the gym with weights.

However, his family always comes first to him. He lives with his wife and three children, and enjoys spending time with them. His oldest son Johnny is enrolled at the University of Oregon as a member of the National Collegiate Honor Society, while his youngest son Joey attends LCC studying music, and his daughter Jenessa has maintained a 4.0 GPA in school for several years.

Although a goal for many people may be to slowly move up in the ranks of their job, Felix has so such goal for the time being.

“I’m comfortable where I am right now.”

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