Business

Remember Idaho’s Edmark car dealerships? Edmark name returns, to this ex-Tom Scott store

Dave Edmark, 60, his son, Miles Edmark, 31, and 9-month-old grandson, James Edmark, represent a family that has been in the car dealership business for 90 years in the Treasure Valley. On Tuesday, the Edmark family, which has operated Tom Scott Honda in Nampa since April 2017, will change the name of the dealership to Edmark Toyota.
Dave Edmark, 60, his son, Miles Edmark, 31, and 9-month-old grandson, James Edmark, represent a family that has been in the car dealership business for 90 years in the Treasure Valley. On Tuesday, the Edmark family, which has operated Tom Scott Honda in Nampa since April 2017, will change the name of the dealership to Edmark Toyota. doswald@idahostatesman.com

Since 1927, the name Edmark was synonymous with vehicles sold in Nampa under several General Motors nameplates. One day last year, the Edmark name disappeared.

Kendall Auto Group, a company founded in Oregon and now based in Boise, bought the Edmark stable at the Idaho Center Auto Mall last year for an undisclosed amount. The former Edmark Chevrolet, GMC, Cadillac, Buick and Kia dealerships now operate under the Kendall name.

“The last day over there I was bawling like a baby, saying goodbye to everyone,” said Dave Edmark, 60, the president of Edmark Auto Inc. “Forty years there — my whole life was wrapped up there. I started when I was 19.”

But the Edmark family, which had operated its dealerships through three generations — Dave Edmark’s grandfather, Karl “K.W. Edmark, his father, Dave Sr., and now Dave Edmark Jr. (who doesn’t use the Jr. suffix) — wasn’t finished.

Edmark already had a handshake agreement with D.H. Moss, owner of Tom Scott Toyota in Nampa and a son-in-law of the late Tom Scott, to buy the Toyota dealership. The Edmark family has operated it since April 2017.

On Tuesday, the Edmark name will be resurrected as the Toyota dealership at 15933 N. Idaho Center Blvd. becomes Edmark Toyota.

Edmark said he never pondered getting out of the automotive business. But his brother-in-law and business partner, Jim Chalfant, was nearing retirement and was looking to dissolve his interest in the company. Edmark and Chalfant bought out Edmark’s father, also named Dave Edmark, in the 1980s. Chalfant also owns Boise Volkswagen and Audi Boise.

“I was either going to buy him out or do something else,” Edmark said. “This was available.”

Edmark said sales increased to 3,400 vehicles last year. The Tacoma pickup is the company’s biggest seller. Edmark said he plans to double the number of new vehicles on the lot to 700 by expanding the parking area.

Between 2012 and 2016, the Edmark dealerships were Idaho’s top-selling dealers. Dave Edmark said Edmark Toyota has the potential to become the top single dealer.

Edmark said he may work another five years before retiring. He’s already preparing for a fourth-generation owner, his son Miles, 31. The dealership’s general manager, Miles Edmark has worked for the business for nine years and is taking part in a two-year Toyota training program for general managers.

The Tom Scott name won’t go completely away. Richard Scott, Tom Scott’s son, owns Tom Scott Honda at 603 11th Ave. N.

John Sowell: 208-377-6423, @JohnWSowell.

Top 10 auto dealers

Sales from January 2018 through May 2018 in Ada and Canyon counties:

1. Peterson Toyota, Boise (799 vehicles sold)

2. Lithia Ford, Boise (792)

3. Corwin Ford, Nampa (653)

4. Tom Scott Toyota (now Edmark Toyota), Nampa (650)

5. Larry H. Miller Subaru, Boise (630)

6. Kendall Ford, Nampa (615)

7. Larry H. Miller Honda, Boise (586)

8. Larry H. Miller Jeep, Boise (476)

9. Kendall Chevrolet, Nampa (467)

10. Kendall GMC, Nampa (464)

Sales are ranked by individual brand. Some dealerships sell multiple brands, so their total sales may not be reflected here. Source: Edmark Toyota
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