|Cooper Motor Company was founded in 1938 by Lynn Cooper, Sr. with $750 of borrowed investment. At this time, Lynn was the only salesman and the dealership had an inventory of three vehicles. The Dodge and Plymouth dealership, which is still family owned, was located in a two-bay cotton warehouse on West Main St. in Clinton, SC. Lynn Cooper, Sr. started and maintained business through the Great Depression and World War II, offering honesty and integrity to every customer that stopped by. In the past, the company has carried brands such as Oldsmobile, AMC, International Truck and Massey Fergusen. |
Cooper Motor Company began a second generation of business in 1956 under Lynn Cooper, Jr., who continued to expand the business using the same principles as his father. In 1986, he added Clinton Ford with his partner Bob Cason. Then, just two years later, he added the Chrysler and Jeep lines to the Dodge dealership. Surviving the oil embargo of the 1970s and the recession of the early 1980s, Lynn Cooper, Jr. made it through the hard times with the same honesty and integrity as his father.
Now, as a third-generation family business, Cooper Motor Company continues to run strong because of its hard-working employees and wonderful customers. The dealership, which is currently owned and operated by Cooper's grandson Lynn "Chip" Cooper III, is one of Upstate South Carolina's oldest dealerships, and one of the county's best-known family businesses.
Today, Cooper Motor Company has six sales team members and an inventory with more than 250 new and used cars. "Very few dealerships in this day and age have been in business 10 years, let alone 70 plus years," said Chip Cooper. "I have a lot of pride in that and in continuing what my grandfather started, and dad continued. Nowadays, the family business is a forgotten practice. In the age of Wal-Mart, Lowe's and Home Depot, the family business is often overlooked because they can't compete in advertising."
Competition is fierce in the car business, but Chip has an idea why Cooper Motor Company has been able to survive into its third generation, "Most dealerships operate with high pressure, but we do things differently here. We try to a have a one-on-one experience between salesperson and customer. We've built a relationship with our customers. We like to say 'when we sell a car, we haven't created a customer, we've created a relationship.' That is what has helped us succeed in business and survive the hard times. Those business ethics, and the loyalty of our long-time customers, are the reason we have been in business since 1938. We depend on customer loyalty. It's a small town. You won't survive in a small town unless you treat people right," says Cooper. "We know our customers. They're our neighbors. We go to church with them and see them socially." Word-of-mouth advertising has also helped the company generate at least 50 percent of its business from out-of-town customers.
Chip knows that even though people are searching for a vehicle, superior customer service is what really draws them in and helps them make that final decision. "I think make and model has a lot to do with the customer first looking at a vehicle, but they've got to feel comfortable with where they are buying it from and know they're going to be taken care of afterward," he said. "We've been able to maintain a lot of customers because, whether it is a Chrysler, Dodge, Jeep or finding that certain used vehicle, we've got the products in stock and the ability to compete with any dealership or any product out there."
From new and used Chrysler, Dodge and Jeep vehicles, to auto loans and OEM car parts, Cooper Motor Company really is your one-stop, full-service dealership. Whether you need vehicle repair, financial assistance, a new car or anything else, our friendly and knowledgeable staff will point you in the right direction. Visit our impressive dealership and check out everything we have to offer at 305 E Main St, Clinton, SC 29325, or simply call us at 877-845-0576. We look forward to helping you find the new or used vehicle of your dreams!