Quality Used Cars has a new owner at the helm starting this month, following the retirement of long-time owner Mark Ash.
Though the ownership is new, it's a familiar face — Chad Mortenson has taken over, having already served as a salesman and detailer at the business since 2005.
The business has been in California since 1999. Mortenson said Ash had been thinking ahead to what might happen after he reached retirement age since around a year and a half ago, so Mortenson and his wife, Nicole, decided to make the purchase official July 15.
"(Ash) was like 'Man, if I retire, you're going to have to find something else to do,' and I thought 'Well, I don't really want to,' so I just bought it from him," Mortenson said Monday.
Since mid-July, Mortenson said he's been doing much of the same work he already was — detailing and working in his usual day-to-day capacity. Despite the change of hands, things will pretty much stay exactly the way they have been in the 16 years he's been around, he said, save for a more expanded social media presence.
The nice thing about being around as long as he has is that the new role doesn't really seem all that new, Mortenson said.
"Feels like the same old thing, really," Mortenson said. "It's the same thing, pretty much, except now I write the checks, and I'm responsible for making sure the place makes money."
Mortenson said he had good experience selling cars while Ash was in charge, and went along with him to vehicle auctions to buy and sell cars, so he already had a good idea of what things look like for the person in charge.
Mortenson said he's glad to be able to keep a business in the community that serves as a place where residents can find a familiar face.
"There's probably a lot of people in town that have either bought a car from me or (Ash), or both, and now at least they'll know that someone local's staying and keeping this open, even though he is retired," Mortenson said.
Mortenson said he expects to offer the same level of service they always have, since he's learned the business from Ash during his time there so far. Mortenson said he hopes that community members who have been there before will keep coming back with that in mind, especially those who might have worked with Ash and had a good experience doing it.
"(And) I just wanted to let the local community know that the same guy's still around, you know what I mean?" Mortenson said. "(Ash) may have retired, but most (people) probably dealt with me anyway. Even if they've come and ended up talking to (Ash) at some point, they probably sat down across from me and did the paperwork, because I've been a part of it for that long. I just think that's kind of going to be a big deal going forward."
Mortenson said he wanted to invite the community to visit the business' website at qualityusedcarsllc.com or visit the Facebook page at Quality Used Cars.