For 82 years a Wilson County family has been selling Chevrolets and Buicks in Lebanon. Tuesday that same family with roots in the car business here dating back to 1927 announced that it is broadening its franchise base and will now be the exclusive local dealer for Hyundai USA. W.P. Bone, president of Wilson County Motors, said Tuesday the family owned dealership that has built a reputation of being one of Middle Tennessee’s leading General Motors dealers has acquired an opportunity to expand its operations and beginning today will be offering area automobile buyers models made by Hyundai USA. Bone stressed that his company will continue to maintain its Chevrolet-Buick dealership at the corner of West Main Street and South Hartmann Drive and described the acquisition of the Hyundai franchise as a means of expanding the choice of new car selections for buyers in the local area. He said the Hyundai store will continue to operate at its present location at 1506 West Main Street. The Hyundai dealership in Lebanon was launched by a previous owner some three years ago. Hyundai, a South Korean-based company, has auto manufacturing facilities in Alabama, California and Michigan. The company has one of the most highly regarded warranty programs in the auto industry offering owners a five-year, 60,000-mile, bumper-to-bumper warranty on all models coupled with a 10-year, 100,000 mile powertrain warranty. Bone said his son Paine will serve as the general manager of the Hyundai dealership, while his other son Mitchel is general manager of the Chevrolet-Buick dealership.
“We see this as an opportunity to broaden our service to the Middle Tennessee market we serve. I think the new Hyundai dealership offers buyers, who have become accustomed to our service and reliability for what is approaching 100 years, another choice in new cars,” said Paine Bone.
He noted that Hyundai has received a number of awards for several of its models in recent years. He said the luxury flagship Genesis manufactured by Hyundai was named a “Best New Car of 2009,” North American Car of the Year, and a “Top 5 Luxury Car for 2009.”
W.P. Bone’s father, the late Winstead Bone Jr., and the late A. W. Hooker, were the original founders and owners of Wilson County Motors. Since its beginning, the dealership has had only two locations in Lebanon and has been at its current location since 1964.
Wilson County Motors has been routinely listed among the top Chevy dealers in the South and is one of largest volume used car dealers in Middle Tennessee.
In 2004 the dealership received the Tennessee American Business Ethics Award and went on to win the American Business Ethics Award in the small company division, a national honor.
The local dealer has recorded a number of significant events over its span of life. In 1933, in the heart of the Depression, the total profit for the year was just a little over $400, according to company records.
In the 1940s, principals of the business said car sales were few because of the war and for a period the dealership became a major parts supplier selling as much as $100,000 in parts monthly across the nation.
Wilson County Motors has survived fires, floods and national economic downturns and other issues, but as W.P. Bone likes to say, “We’re still a credible, viable company dedicated to customer service and a valued ethics policy.”