Recently, hometown dealer Robbie Franklin joined the ranks of the small but esteemed group of Chevrolet dealers with 50 years of ownership. As a result of his exceptional tenure, he is being recognized with a Chevrolet national recognition. While the honor is nothing short of spectacular, Robbie remains dedicated and always in touch with ultimate levels of humility.
The doors of Franklin Chevrolet were opened toward the end of the Great Depression by Robbie's father, Lehman Franklin Sr. Since then, Franklin Chevrolet has grown to be a major employer in Bulloch County and Statesboro, Georgia. It's also one of the oldest Chevrolet dealerships in the United States. Although Lehman opened the business in 1940, Robbie took ownership of the dealership in 1967 at the young age of 24 following his father's untimely death. Robbie grew up in the car business and prides himself on being a student of the industry.
Under Robbie's tutelage, Franklin Chevrolet has been a staple in the Statesboro community and remained resilient during the good and bad times - never wavering or closing the doors. While other dealerships in the area have come and gone, Robbie's son Stephen Franklin accredits his father's sustainability and success to his immense humility, passion and unparalleled work ethic. At the wise age of 74, Robbie still enjoys coming to the dealership every day and finds immense joy in helping people and staying active in his local community. His current activities include:
Robbie, Karen (wife), Stephen (son), and Anna (daughter) all actively support the hometown Georgia Southern University (GSU). While Stephen and Anna are alumni, Robbie and Karen have made a clear commitment to education and GSU by intertwining the two facilities. Each of the past 30 years, Robbie has donated the use of an automobile to the GSU Athletic Department. Franklin Chevrolet also employs local students. He explained in a June 1997 People's Magazine article, "We try to work schedules around school hours. Most of the students continue on the job until graduation. "Through the years, Franklin Chevrolet has experienced exceptional growth and historically low turnover in an industry notorious for fly-by-night employees. This can be directly attributed to a culture and work environment conducive to success. Whether it's hiring students or creating a work environment where employees can grow professionally, the Franklin family has a strong belief in hiring the best people to do the best job regardless of age, race, religion, creed, or sexual identity. Robbie and his son Stephen have continually redefined standards and sided with morality. The dealership was the first establishment in Statesboro to hire an African American woman when it wasn't the most socially acceptable action to take. It's with this mindset and sense of community Franklin Chevrolet has been able to transcend the traditional function of a dealership into a thriving and bustling social institution full of community leadership and local partnerships. It's not out of the question to stop by and see life-long customers swapping stories over a cup of coffee. Such active engagement in the local community has resulted in the unwavering loyalty of generations of families. Customers come from Statesboro, Savannah, Pooler, Rincon, and surrounding areas to experience the world-class treatment at Franklin Chevrolet. All of these factors contribute to the stunning success of the dealership. While Robbie has attained this 50 year milestone, his son Stephen and their entire staff are looking forward to many more successful years. Stop by Franklin Chevrolet to experience the culture for yourself at 106 Northside Drive East in Statesboro, Georgia 30458. You can also complete our online contact form or call us at 877-260-6999 for immediate assistance, questions or just to say hi.