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Posted on Wed, Sep 5, 2012 : 1:29 p.m.

Howard Cooper gives $1,000 per year of service to 89 employees as 'thank you'

By Lizzy Alfs

Editor's note: This story has been updated following an interview with Howard Cooper.

What would you do if your boss, as a way of saying thank you while he prepared to retire, gave you a check for $26,000?

When Bob Jenkins, a 26-year mechanic at Ann Arbor’s Howard Cooper Import Center, got just that at 7 a.m. Wednesday, he couldn’t stop his knees from shaking.

“I was shocked,” Jenkins said. “You just don’t expect something like that.”


Howard Cooper surprised his employees with "thank you" checks this morning as he transitions into retirement.

Photo from

Jenkins was one of 89 employees at the 47-year-old auto dealership — located on South State Street north of Eisenhower Parkway — that received a “thank you” check from Howard Cooper as he transitions into retirement.

Cooper, 83, sold his dealership in April to Ohio-based Germain Motor Company. Details on the transaction haven't been available.

As the ownership officially changes hands this month, Cooper gave his 89 employees quite the generous send-off: $1,000 for each year of service worked at the dealership. Cooper first reported the news to radio host Lucy Ann Lance on 1290 WLBY-AM Wednesday morning.

“I wanted to thank my employees and that was a way I could do it,” Cooper told “I hope it makes a difference in their lives like they have made in mine.”

Sandy Reagan, a 46-year employee at Howard Cooper, said it’s “touching” that Cooper gave every employee the same amount per year, even people that were just hired in July.

“If you were here for 6 months, you got $500. If you were here since July, you got $83,” Reagan said.

Howard Cooper opened on South State Street in 1965 as a Volkswagen dealership. In 1972, it expanded with the addition of Porsche and Audi franchises, and then added the Honda brand in 1979.

When Cooper announced he planned to sell the dealership to the family-owned Germain Motor Co. — which now has 19 dealerships in five states — he made employee retention a condition of the deal.

"My employees are very important to me and the reason for my success," Cooper told in April. "I know of a couple of buyers who would have paid more, but taking care of my employees was important to me."

Cooper said he plans to maintain an office at the dealership until he’s ready to move on. He joked about purchasing an ice cream shop to keep him busy.

“The business has been my whole life for 47 years,” he said. “I love what I’ve done and I enjoyed going to work in the morning. I’m still an entrepreneur at heart and I intend to continue that way.”

Reagan, who was hired at the dealership in 1966 as a bookkeeper, printed all of the employees’ surprise checks in advance last week, after Cooper clued her in to his plan. Both Reagan and Cooper wouldn’t reveal the total sum of the send-off gifts.

Reagan said Cooper received a standing ovation — through people’s shock and tears — when he surprised the employees with their checks.

“The lady behind me had tears running down her face,” Reagan said. “I sat next to a person who drives the parts van and he’s been here almost 28 years. He doesn’t make a ton of money, but he got almost $28,000.

"I watched his face and he just said, ‘Oh my God.’”

Jenkins added: “The whole place was just in shock. People are still talking about it.”

And as for his plans for the unexpected $26,000?

“Well, I’m going to put it in the bank, and my wife and I will discuss that,” he said. “I have two little kids — a 5-year-old and a 9-year-old — so the money will go to good use.”

Lizzy Alfs is a business reporter for Reach her at 734-623-2584 or email her at Follow her on Twitter at



Fri, Jan 4, 2013 : 12:50 a.m.

Best good news in a long time!!


Sat, Sep 8, 2012 : 3:03 p.m.

I'm not surprised. I dropped well over $10K at this place for multiple repairs on my Beetle, which had under 50K miles on it. But I feel good knowing I helped 10 employees.

Snarf Oscar Boondoggle

Fri, Sep 7, 2012 : 3:28 p.m.

this is what the better portion of 1%-ers do ... kudos, sir!

Rebecca Leach

Fri, Sep 7, 2012 : 12:49 a.m.


Kai Petainen

Thu, Sep 6, 2012 : 11:19 p.m.

=) Jeanette, you could make a CNN iReport on it? I've done it a number of times and have gotten my stuff on CNN. To make it even more current, tag it un under 'Economy: Are You Better Off' -- debate, economy And that might increase the chances that they see it?

Kai Petainen

Thu, Sep 6, 2012 : 11:23 p.m.

Oh, and to increase the chances that it's on CNN, better yet... drive by Howard Cooper and take a photo of the place, or a video of yourself talking about what they did.


Thu, Sep 6, 2012 : 8:15 p.m.

I've emailed the story to CNN, but I see Kai got it on too.

Lee Mockensturm

Thu, Sep 6, 2012 : 8:12 p.m.

That's generous but this also is a man that held back raises, even small ones, from his mechanics even as he raised the flat rate he charged customers. My dad worked there for 37 years but retired some time ago fed up with the lack of any raises. Wish Mr. Cooper had considered my dad and others like him when he forked over all that money.


Thu, Sep 6, 2012 : 6:05 p.m.

I not only know Mr. Cooper I also know several of his staff, all have worked a decade or more with him. They always said he was a great boss.

Kai Petainen

Thu, Sep 6, 2012 : 5:02 p.m.

oky, i wrote about it and gave props to ann arbor news amazing story. it's also in the HMC yahoo ticker feeds.

Kai Petainen

Thu, Sep 6, 2012 : 11:19 p.m.

You're welcome Lizzy, and thanks for your fantastic article. It's nice to see some good news once in a while.

Lizzy Alfs

Thu, Sep 6, 2012 : 5:23 p.m.

Thanks for the shout-out, Kai.


Thu, Sep 6, 2012 : 2:20 p.m.

Nice gesture on the owner's part. However, my experience at Howard Cooper when looking to purchase a Honda a couple years ago was less than satisfactory. First, as soon as I walked in, I was approached by a sales person who chatted a couple minutes and then when I indicated I was interested in test driving an Accord, he asked for my driver's license, took it into a back room, then returned a few minutes later after making a copy of it without my permission. I have since learned that it is ILLEGAL for dealers to make a copy of driver's licenses, or to run them through machines that will check your credit without your permission. After my negative experience at HC, I ordered a credit report, and sure enough, there was a "check" on my credit on that date that I visited the HC dealership. These unauthorized credit checks are illegal and dealers can be fined $2500. Unfortunately, the responsibility rests with the customer to call them on this. Dealers are allowed to LOOK at a driver's license while you hang on to it before a test drive, but that is all. The unauthorized credit checks give dealers an unfair advantage in a negotiation if you decide to purchase a car. You don't know that they have obtained your credit score, and that affects the negotiations of financing, etc. After the test drive at Howard Cooper that day, I asked about price and was told that there was NO negotiation, the sticker was the final price. I walked out. I subsequently went to another Honda dealership in Brighton and was asked for a driver's license, showed it to them (stayed in my wallet), and went for a test drive. They were more than willing to negotiate the price, and I ended up purchasing the Honda at the Brighton dealership.

gary mockensturm

Thu, Sep 6, 2012 : 2:29 p.m.

Free enterprise


Thu, Sep 6, 2012 : 2:10 p.m.

Apparently everything I have heard about Howard Cooper the past 25 true. Thank You Mr. Cooper for being a shining star in the community.

warren weeder

Thu, Sep 6, 2012 : 2:08 p.m.

Really impressive behavior from Cooper. I hope I would be so generous. For those who seem to see this as typical 1%, or rich guy behavior, think again. If this was not such a remarkable and rare display of generosity, people would not be so furious with the "1%". One decent person who happens to be rich does not justify a whole culture of rich which rides on exploitation of the poor. Wake up.


Thu, Sep 6, 2012 : 1:16 p.m.

Your company is only as good as your employees. Good to see another employer in this area that recognizes that!

Kai Petainen

Thu, Sep 6, 2012 : 4:42 a.m.

this is such an incredible story.... amazing. a huge thank you to howard cooper. wish there were more like him in this world...


Thu, Sep 6, 2012 : 4:04 a.m.

After 10 years at my job I never even got a Christmas card.My boss could use some lessons!

music to my ear

Thu, Sep 6, 2012 : 11:48 a.m.

I feel your pain. it is like that at a lot of businesses they feel, hey the employees get a check although we are making them richer, I believe that is why some places have low moral everyone needs a pat on the back every now and then maybe some of our bosses are just depressed who knows. anyway " MERRY CHRISTMAS" .


Thu, Sep 6, 2012 : 3:12 a.m.

this is the all time best story on what a great story to read, thank you!


Thu, Sep 6, 2012 : 2:01 a.m.

How great is that? Glad we bought our car from Howard Cooper.


Thu, Sep 6, 2012 : 1:57 a.m.

How am I not watching this on CNN? Someone should pass this story along. The parts driver - who can't be making more than 30K a year just recieved a bunus of 28K. Thats awsome! People who had dreams that were just that dreams, might see them come into reality. Just awsome!

Kai Petainen

Thu, Sep 6, 2012 : 4:39 a.m.

i'm tempted to write about it.

gary mockensturm

Thu, Sep 6, 2012 : 1:49 a.m.

This no surprise to me after working for Howard Cooper from March of 1966 to August of 2003 . All said & done was a great place to work . Gary Mockensturm Retired August 2003 PS Good luck Howard . (some one told me wanted to sell POP @ the UofM games )


Thu, Sep 6, 2012 : 1:03 a.m.

We in Ann Arbor have blessed to have Howard Cooper as a member of our community. To comprehend the magnitude of this gift one must look at the average years of service of his staff, compared to other dealers it is HUGE. Earl Burroughs the 28 year parts driver is a legend for his efficiency and politeness. Howard realized who helped make him a success and rewarded them. God Bless Howard!


Thu, Sep 6, 2012 : 12:44 a.m.

Words cant describe what a fine upstanding man Howard Cooper is. This is proof that there is still humanity and gernerousity among us. Thank god for Howard Cooper and his impact in this world, it's a better place because of him.

Albert Howard

Thu, Sep 6, 2012 : 12:31 a.m.

This is the spirit of Ann Arbor! It is more blessed to give than to receive.


Thu, Sep 6, 2012 : 12:29 a.m.

Glad to hear that there are "human" and appreciative employers still out there like Mr. Cooper! Unfortunately, I work for someone who makes Ebenezer Scrooge look generous (before his spiritual awakening, that is)!

Get over it

Thu, Sep 6, 2012 : 3:06 a.m.

Get a different job, or start your own


Thu, Sep 6, 2012 : 12:26 a.m.

What a class act! Shows that some employers value their dedicated, long term employees.


Wed, Sep 5, 2012 : 11:11 p.m.

An outstanding sales and service staff gets it well-earned reward!


Wed, Sep 5, 2012 : 11:13 p.m.

Oops! "gets its well-earned reward"


Wed, Sep 5, 2012 : 11:03 p.m.

Hopefully some of them get hired by the new owner. If not it might not last long. But that was a great thing for Cooper to do either way.


Thu, Sep 6, 2012 : 6:22 p.m.

It stated he had other offers for more money, but he wanted all the employees to still have their jobs.


Thu, Sep 6, 2012 : 12:35 a.m.

Try re-reading the article.

Steven Taylor

Wed, Sep 5, 2012 : 11:02 p.m.

Way to go Mr. Cooper. Enjoy your retirement. Too few employers like that in this day and age when everyone is worried about their bottom line. If you open that ice cream shop, I'll be sure to visit!


Wed, Sep 5, 2012 : 10:48 p.m.

Totally awesome. Best wishes to Mr. Cooper in all of his future endeavors.


Wed, Sep 5, 2012 : 9:39 p.m.

A class act all the way. Enjoy your well-deserved retirement, Mr. Cooper - our community will miss you.


Wed, Sep 5, 2012 : 9:36 p.m.

Awesome display of loyalty and appreciation for one`s employees. Three cheers for Mr. Cooper

Billy Bob Schwartz

Wed, Sep 5, 2012 : 9:05 p.m.

What a fine man Mr. Cooper must be. Great story. My other comment is this: It is amazing to me how many people can't allow a good story about a good man doing a good thing to go by without turning it into some kind of bellyache about politics or whatever. You people should be ashamed of yourselves if you take this story and use it as some base from which to launch a cheap shot. Too much tax taken out? Slam the Dems? Slam the Reps? Come on, people. We never get good stories, and when we finally get one, we have to snipe from it. This makes me sick. And yet, Mr. Cooper gave his workers a great going-away present, and sold only to someone who would keep them on when he left. A great act by a fine man. Sir: you made my day.


Wed, Sep 5, 2012 : 9 p.m.

Wonderful story. What makes it MORE special is that he printed out the checks a week before, never letting anyone know- done because he actually cares. So very nice, and sadly, rare. A very nice feel good moment for many I am sure!


Wed, Sep 5, 2012 : 8:38 p.m.

You did'nt build that!!!!!


Wed, Sep 5, 2012 : 9:57 p.m.

Not to mention his leadership and financial contributions within Ann Arbor. Again, as I mentioned in an above post, he had a goal, invested a lot of time and hard work into the business, ran his business with integrity, and cares about his employees. Look things over again, many parts or cars ARE part of our American economy. Why not take advantage of government programs......if he didn't, others would. Blame the government who created that program, not the business men who worked within those constraints. Funny how people have to yang about things that they feel are unfair when they aren't the ones that had the vision or the drive to succeed. We all benefit from improved roads, many people reaped the benefit from the Cash for Clunkers program, and the people working in the plants here in the U.S. are getting insurance provided by the car company.


Wed, Sep 5, 2012 : 9:38 p.m.

Please Johnnya2. He did build it and that's why it's HIS money to give away. Maybe if you become successful in something and OWN your own things and personal wealth then you can do what you like with it as well.


Wed, Sep 5, 2012 : 9:14 p.m.

Well actually he did not. He got increased sales due to cash for clunkers, he also received large government subsidies int he form of roads that allowed people to buy cars. Oh and to even further make the point, he sold cars for companies NOT based in the US that actually have their health care provided for them by the government. So yes, he did not build it himself. He had help along the way from employees, government, teachers and people around the world. Funny how that works

music to my ear

Wed, Sep 5, 2012 : 8:33 p.m.

let me say God I wish I worked at Mr.coopers place, instead of country market where the rich business owners wont even let us out of work people collect unemployment what a differences to feel valued thanks Mr, cooper god will reward you. and you went out big. you da man ,me over 6 years I worked for crappy market so Iam looking.

music to my ear

Wed, Sep 5, 2012 : 9:57 p.m.

I did not quit was told in a seperation letter the store was closing its doors for good june 19 they decided to close but they stayed opended until june 23 letter said we need a limited numbers of employees to faceilatate the closing I ask manager if it were mandatory for us to pack up he said no i did work two days packing the third they ran out of totes I said I am going elsewhere to look for work. they said I was a no call no show. their letter was incorrect. of course I am fighting it but after 6 plus years employment there I never was a ncns I dont want that on my work record, manager was upset with me because I would not sign his termanation paper stating I volentaraly quit dude he threw me under the bus but I will get back up they are doing this to all who are fileing swear we are all shocked


Wed, Sep 5, 2012 : 9:11 p.m.

Country Market does not decide if you can collect unemployment or not. If you voluntarily quit, you can not collect. If they fire you for certain cause they do not have to pay. If they let you go do to lack of work, poor sales, or because you wore red on the day they liked green, the state will say it must be paid.

Ron Granger

Wed, Sep 5, 2012 : 8:16 p.m.

What an amazing way to go out on a high note. Now, if only these workers who invested their time could be taxed at 13% like some people. If only they could use off-shore tax shelters and other gimmicks. Establish a shell corporation. Etc.

Ron Granger

Thu, Sep 6, 2012 : 12:36 p.m.

It is no surprise that some would try and spin my comments on tax rates into an attack on Cooper. How typical. For those unable to grasp the tax argument, I will explain it. Romney, and those like him, pay a 15% marginal tax rate on millions in income. After a base rate of only 15%, he goes even further to avoid taxes, utilizing off-shore tax shelters, holding corporations, trusts, and other advanced schemes. For working class folks, a 25-35% federal tax rate is typical. They have few, if any, of those schemes available to them. If you work extra hours, or get a bonus, you pay big taxes on that. Do you get to keep your cars in a holding company to avoid taxes and to deduct them? No, neither do I. And on top of it all, working class folks are far more likely to get audited. A big issue in this election will decide whether the working folks pay more taxes, with the Romney's of the world paying even less. Some will argue the Romney's of the world "deserve" to pay lower taxes because they take "risk". We are supposed to accept they take more risk than people who work for a living, people living paycheck to paycheck, people with no healhcare, people who will lose their healthcare the moment Romney cancels if he becomes President. We are supposed to believe that Bain capital taking over a company, firing workers without warning, draining the pension fund, liquidating the assets to make millions and sending the company into bankruptcy, offshoring the jobs.. We are to believe that is more risky than being one of the workers who is fired. We are supposed to believe the people who offshore our jobs to China should pay lower taxes for their wonderful service. We are to believe they millions in cash that they drain from those companies is not a bonus subject to taxes like the Howard Cooper employees pay.


Thu, Sep 6, 2012 : 12:15 a.m.

If Howard Cooper sold bicycles, Ron Granger would be much more positive.

say it plain

Wed, Sep 5, 2012 : 10:56 p.m.

After reading all those silly comments that seem to be coming from the 'right' as it were, the "you didn't build that" bull and the "miserable 1%ers, wait..." garbage... I tended to see @Ron Granger's comment as a counter to that rather than an indictment per se of Mr. Cooper. But perhaps that was just me trying to be positive ;-)


Wed, Sep 5, 2012 : 9:50 p.m.

BAH humbug. You don't know what he put into developing his businesses that got him to where he is. It was a lot of hard work, sacrifice in the beginning, ongoing training of his staff, and a great deal of integrity. Isn't that what the American dream is all about? A great idea, initiative, hard work, and good leadership. Howard Cooper supports many great causes in Ann Arbor as well. Try to look on the positive side of things and appreciate his hard work and community involvement.


Wed, Sep 5, 2012 : 7:52 p.m.

Down with the miserable greedy 1%'ers..... oh, wait!

Robert Jenkins

Fri, Sep 7, 2012 : 10:29 p.m.

For all you people who voted thumbs down, this was sarcasm. Duh


Wed, Sep 5, 2012 : 7:49 p.m.

Other bosses need to read this and act accordingly

Jim Walker

Wed, Sep 5, 2012 : 7:45 p.m.

I worked for many years for Herb Estes Volvo which later became Ann Arbor Volvo. Howard Cooper was always a fair and honorable competitor, and clearly a fine boss who valued his employees that made the dealership a success. James C. Walker, Ann Arbor, MI


Wed, Sep 5, 2012 : 7:33 p.m.

Yeah, I once was lucky enough to have an employer who handed out bonus checks every year and those bonuses were based on productivity and related job performance criteria: everyone got something but those who did the most for the company got bonuses which amounted to higher percentages of that year's income. Loyalty, performance and length of service have value - both ways. What do you do when you get that kind of recognition?: You first say "Thank You" and then you can understandably start to cry because such recognition is rare (except among high income individuals who are already millionaires and celebrities). I heard about Howard Cooper years ago from one of his customers: he and his dealership got top marks then and it looks like he's still a top notch boss and businessman. (Amid the many who are not.) I've never met you, Howard Cooper, but you have my appreciation and best wishes.

Get over it

Wed, Sep 5, 2012 : 10:37 p.m.

And the years they lost money did you give money back?


Wed, Sep 5, 2012 : 7:30 p.m.

I guess some wealthy people are not as bad as the democrats make everyone believe they are?

Get over it

Fri, Sep 7, 2012 : 3:09 a.m.

Sparty only if everyone gave to charity like are VP what a great world this would be 600.00 Wow Spend wisely then ask for more


Thu, Sep 6, 2012 : 8:10 p.m.

Maybe he believes like the President and Warren Buffet and many others that he should be paying a fair share tax rate ??? Real classy to turn this into a political issue. Typical, when you're down in the polls and on the losing side.

Get over it

Wed, Sep 5, 2012 : 10:34 p.m.

He didn't build it


Wed, Sep 5, 2012 : 7:28 p.m.

Great story! Big businesses should take note on valuing loyal employees! Enjoy your retirement, Mr. Cooper!


Wed, Sep 5, 2012 : 7:27 p.m.

That is such a good story! Something we are lacking today. I can tell you, those people there deserve it. I've always bought my Hondas there and always had great service. Just goes to show you, not all small business owners are greedy.


Wed, Sep 5, 2012 : 7:26 p.m.

What a humble employer.


Wed, Sep 5, 2012 : 7:22 p.m.

Well done Mr Cooper!


Wed, Sep 5, 2012 : 7:20 p.m.

That $660 55,000 mile oil change on my A4 was put to good use, I see.


Thu, Sep 6, 2012 : 12:13 a.m.

If Dave were an honest man he would have mentioned that he also had a major service interval in those charges. I have purchased 7 Audis from Howard Cooper and am quite familiar with the cost of an oil change. Depending on the car and if the oil is synthetic or not, the cost ranges from $35.00 to $69.00 and they do much more than just change the oil.


Wed, Sep 5, 2012 : 9:43 p.m.

You chose to buy a premium car, hence the higher fee for MAINTENANCE, that in the long run, will keep your car from more expensive repairs. If you can buy an A4, you can afford the maintenance.


Wed, Sep 5, 2012 : 7:35 p.m.

If you're willing to pay that for an oil change, I'd be happy to change your oil for you.


Wed, Sep 5, 2012 : 6:59 p.m.

"Hello, Chop House? Reservation for 8 please..."


Wed, Sep 5, 2012 : 6:57 p.m.

Wow. Amazing.


Wed, Sep 5, 2012 : 6:52 p.m.

Heart warming. If only ALL employers would do the same, this country would be number one by far.

andy kelly

Thu, Sep 6, 2012 : 12:46 a.m.


Get over it

Wed, Sep 5, 2012 : 10:30 p.m.

We are number one

andy kelly

Wed, Sep 5, 2012 : 6:22 p.m.

How refreshing it is to read a great story! Positive news is such great news!


Wed, Sep 5, 2012 : 6:04 p.m.

WOW --- I'm glad I got my VW from there! What a great story


Wed, Sep 5, 2012 : 5:58 p.m.

This is where small, local businesses trump big, international ones. What a great story.


Thu, Sep 6, 2012 : 12:05 a.m.

yeah, those scummy internationals, like Google:


Wed, Sep 5, 2012 : 5:57 p.m.

Man Howard Cooper is AWESOME. I will definitely make it a point to go there if I'm everin the market for a VW or Audi.

Get over it

Wed, Sep 5, 2012 : 10:28 p.m.

Buy ford


Wed, Sep 5, 2012 : 6:23 p.m.

Unless you want to save a couple thousand dollars, that is. (Thayer in Livonia is where it's at)


Wed, Sep 5, 2012 : 5:50 p.m.

Awesome. Before you go all hog wild and spend it don't forget you are going to give %4.25% to the state and more than likely 25 to 30% to the federal government through income tax, social security and medicare.


Wed, Sep 5, 2012 : 9:51 p.m.

Truth be told I gave myself a thumbs down Katherine. lol


Wed, Sep 5, 2012 : 9:41 p.m.

You are definitely a "the glass is half empty" person!!! Look at what they DO get!


Wed, Sep 5, 2012 : 9:08 p.m.

As in anything, you pay taxes on it. SO WHAT? Money withheld is NOT the taxes you pay. If these employees have a lot of money taken out of their checks for taxes now, they can reduce that number because lump sums are withheld as if you will be making that amount all year long. Take it from a person who makes a quarterly commission check.


Wed, Sep 5, 2012 : 7:26 p.m.

As A2 pointed out, most likely those taxes have already been taken out. Also likely is that some of that federal income tax will be returned when they do their taxes, depending on their income level. It is also possible that when they start taking SS and Medicare they will get more in benefits than they paid out.


Wed, Sep 5, 2012 : 7:22 p.m.

Actually, they likely already have. Lump sum payments require taxes to be withheld at special rates.


Wed, Sep 5, 2012 : 6:54 p.m.

It is still free money. Given the debt crisis in the USA, even the little bit of income tax helps them.


Wed, Sep 5, 2012 : 6:04 p.m.

So what? A bonus is a bonus.


Wed, Sep 5, 2012 : 5:49 p.m.

Thanks for sharing this story Lizzy.


Wed, Sep 5, 2012 : 5:45 p.m.

Individual workers are the engine of economic activity. Mr. Cooper should be commended for recognizing that great CEOs alone don't make great companies; they lead and reward employees who make companies great.

Tom Todd

Wed, Sep 5, 2012 : 5:43 p.m.

Awesome! Good for Them, Sincerely!!, get the popcorn ready!

Alan Goldsmith

Wed, Sep 5, 2012 : 5:40 p.m.

The only reason I've purchased several cars from and had them serviced at this dealership is because of the outstanding sales and service departments. Kudos to Mr. Cooper for his gift to the employees. We'll see how the transition from a locally owned business to one owned by an out of town chain moves forward.


Wed, Sep 5, 2012 : 9:09 p.m.

Glad to see Alan finally has something to praise in Ann Arbor, not criticise.

Ghost of Tom Joad

Wed, Sep 5, 2012 : 5:34 p.m.

glad to see an employer who values his employees. I've had my issues with the dealership, as a customer, but that doesn't mean that they are terrible in every facet. Hopefully the new management will take a page from Mr. Cooper's book and continue to view the employees with such respect.

Marvin Face

Sat, Sep 8, 2012 : 2:05 a.m.

Then I guess I shouldn't mention the BMWs I bought at the old Auto Strasse?


Thu, Sep 6, 2012 : 7:26 p.m.

I'd like to take the time to "thank" all of you posters for helping to do your part in destroying our local economy. Shame on you for buying foreign when we have several domestic plants shut down in this area.

Marvin Face

Thu, Sep 6, 2012 : 1:42 a.m.

My dealings with the Howard Cooper service staff through 2 Audis and a Porsche over the years have been nothing short of outstanding. Better than any other dealership I've been to.


Wed, Sep 5, 2012 : 9:38 p.m.

I agree with JohnnyA2. I have had nothing but superb service from the dealership. I appreciate the staff who gather the information about what needs to be done (maintenance vs. problem), the mechanics' quality work as well as the review of what was done or checked out so I understand what was done. My 2005 Odyssey is running strong with no issues thus far, my son drives a 2006 Civic, my daughter has a 2007 Pilot, and we just got a 2012 Pilot for my husband.


Wed, Sep 5, 2012 : 9:05 p.m.

I would say my experience has been just the opposite. The service has always been friendly and honest in their dealings. When i ask for a quote, the price is what they say. I have called other places to get quotes on similar work and the prices are usually within 5-10%. Do I expect them to be cheapest? NO. I trade a low price for a courtesy van that drops me off at home and picks me up when my car is ready. i trade a cheaper price to know they will wash my car at the end of the repair. i trade the cheaper service to get greeted by the service department like I matter as opposed to some other mechanics who will remain nameless and other dealerships that sell Ford products on the west side of the city.


Wed, Sep 5, 2012 : 8:45 p.m.

I agree. I have had such dismal customer service (in the repair department) that I refuse to patronize this dealership. I do admire the gift. I hope the new ownership cleans house, and fixes cars the right way the first time.


Wed, Sep 5, 2012 : 5:34 p.m.


Dhurandar Bhatavdekar

Thu, Sep 6, 2012 : 12:05 a.m.

Great story, Best wishes to Mr Cooper for a happy retirement life!