In the Driver's Seat--Wilson Motors

Owner: Rick Wilson

Why Bellingham? “I was born and raised here. It’s a great place to bring up kids, great place to enjoy boating and skiing, and there’s great quality of life. For the 48 years that my wife and I have been married, Bellingham has been a great place to live. Close to the big cities, yet a slower, more relaxing pace here.”

Favorite shop downtown? Why? The Bagelry. It’s a local business that has just grown and grown by producing a great product.

In the large automotive business, often times managers and owners outsource small work to someone they’ve hired. Not the case for Rick Wilson. When improvements are needed or equipment fails, Rick will often come into the shop and personally see to it. It is a quality respected by his employees at both the Toyota and Nissan dealerships.

Employing more than 120 people and consistently ranking in the top 20 businesses in Whatcom County, Wilson Motors has grown immensely from when it opened back in 1960 by Rick’s father as a Lincoln-Mercury dealer. Now they offer Toyota, Scion, Nissan and Mercedez-Benz vehicles.

Wilson Motors Toyota moved to its current location on Iowa Street in 2008 the same day of the market crash, and has worked since then to improve its tactics for continual success.

Rick runs his business on both productivity and satisfaction from employees and customers alike. Even if it’s a simple issue as broken printers, he’ll take the time to come in and replace them personally.  

His core business principles are practical and straightforward like himself: building a winning network of partners, fast-moving productivity, working smart and acting like owners.

“This is a people business and I enjoy interacting with people; both customers and employees,” he said. “[It’s rewarding] to see personal growth in the people we hire.”

Along with supporting his community of employees, Rick contributes to many various local foundations and nonprofits.

Each year, they host the annual Bellingham Fête each year on Father’s Day. It is an extravagant event that includes a car show, live music, beer garden, ponies and food vendors. The Fête is put on as a benefit for the Whatcom Hospice Foundation, and also largely popular for families celebrating with their dads. In its first year in 2013, Wilson Motors raised more than $10,000 to donate toward the Hospice. It has grown bigger and better each year since then.

“For us, Bellingham supports our business, so we think it is important to give back to those who make our business possible,” Rick said.

Wilson Motors is one of our sponsors for Downtown Sounds this year, and we’re gracious to have their support!

Stop by 1100 Iowa Street for any of your automotive service needs. 

Today's post was written by Marketing Intern Ashley Conradi.