There must be a reason customers keep coming back. Five generations of Dahl's have influenced the automobile industry for almost 100 years. This has been made possible through years of customer's loyalty, which stems from a constant focus on the customer's complete satisfaction with our products and services. The rich history of the family as they continue to grow alongside the automotive industry is a great legacy in the making.
Andrew H Dahl of Westby, WI, who was already running a general store, serving in the Wisconsin legislature and raising seven children, received an agency agreement from Ford Motor Company in 1911. Ford Model T's were sold at Andrews General Store, Andrew H. Dahl Co., for $500 each until a new store was built. At this time two of Andrew's four sons, Harry and Chester, ran the operation acting as managers, salespeople and driving instructors. Ford Motor Company, during the initial years, would transport Model T parts, leaving it up to the dealers to assemble them and then of course teach customers to drive this brand new machine. Dahl expanded to Viroqua, WI and La Crosse in 1911.
Kenny Dahl, Harry's son, began selling Fords with his father in 1937. The family business continued to prosper with dealerships across the nation from Beaumont, Texas to Yonkers, New York. During this expansion, stores were started in many other states, including Davenport, Iowa. Kenny's straight forward approach of providing a quality crafted vehicle with razor sharp service still pulsates through every department of Dahl Ford Davenport today.
Vinje Dahl Jr., Kenny's son, began with Dahl Motors, La Crosse in 1956. After graduation from New York University in 1963, Vinje joined the business again, working selling cars at Dahl Motors Erie, Pa and Dahl Motors of Oshkosh, WI. He was a sales manager at Dahl Motors Utica, New York before moving to Dahl Ford Davenport in 1968 to sell used vehicles. After overseeing operations of Dahl La Crosse, he returned back to Dahl Ford Davenport as General Manager in 1973. For over 30 years Vinje maintained the Dahl integrity that keeps customers coming back to Dahl Ford. His philosophy that "Happy employees equals happy customers," is still evident today.
K.V. Dahl III, Vinje's son, has always been "car crazy." Although its not unusual for children to play with toy cars, K.V. always preferred the classic cars. From the time he could first speak he always wanted to be a car dealer. At seven years old, his future was starting to write itself. K.V. took his first job at the dealership as grounds keeper. Through elementary, Jr. high and high school K.V. worked in all the departments of the dealership. From detailing cars, running parts, service writing, to working in the body shop and sales department. K.V. wanted to make sure that he was able to perform any task that might be asked of him, no matter how large or small that task might be. After graduating from Central High School, K.V. attended the University of Iowa, and then the National Automobile Dealers Dealer Academy in McLean, VA. After again spending time in all departments of the dealership, K.V. became General Manager in 2002.
K.V.'s influence can be seen throughout Dahl Ford of Davenport today. With a youthful vision towards the future and a keen eye on the foundation of the past, the dealership moved into the 21st century. K.V.'s philosophy "embrace technology and use it to our advantage," created a culture change, evident at every level within the dealership. One of K.V.'s proudest moments came in 2004 when he opened the doors of his Business Development Center. A full department dedicated to serving current and future customers. K.V. continues to strive to be ahead of the curve today. Forgoing most conventional marketing, K.V. reached out to the virtual world and in 2009 created a world class internet department, responsible for a full 1/3 rd of all vehicle sales.
Through the leadership of K.V. and those that came before him, the Dahl family legacy will continue for generations to come.