SIOUX CITY | After 45 years, the Zook family is exiting the automotive business.
Charlie Zook Motors announced Tuesday it has been sold to Woodhouse Auto Family. Terms were not disclosed.
Blair, Neb.-based Woodhouse will retain Zook Motors' roughly 60 full- and part-time employees, said Zook Motors general manager Bruce Zook, whose father, Charlie, started the business in 1967.
The younger Zook said Tuesday he will leave the dealership after Woodhouse takes over the Sioux City operations on Jan. 14.
Woodhouse, one of the region's largest new car dealers, has stores in Blair, Omaha, Bellevue and Plattsmouth, Neb., and Missouri Valley, Iowa, and franchises for Ford, Lincoln, Chrysler, Dodge, Jeep, Ram, Chevrolet, Buick, Nissan, Mazda and Porsche.
A Woodhouse spokesperson did not immediately return a call to the Journal on Wednesday.
Though Woodhouse, which was started in 1975 by Bob Woodhouse and Dave Taylor, has grown over the years, it continues to retain the flavor of a small-town dealership, Bruce Zook said.
"The way they do things, they're very much concerned about employee and customer satisfaction," Zook said. "That was very important to us, so it seemed like a very good fit."
Charlie Zook started his business as a Dodge-only franchise in 1967 with nine employees at 517 Pearl St. The dealership moved in 1969 to its current location at 2201 E. Sixth St., becoming the first to build on what became known as the "Sixth Street Auto Row."
In 1982, Zook acquired the local Chrysler and Plymouth franchises. In most recent years, the deal added the Jeep, Mitsubishi and Hyundai lines.
The Hyundai and Mitsubishi franchises are located in a separate building Zook acquired in 2006 that is next to the Chrysler sales and service facility.
In 1999, Charlie Zook was presented with Time magazine's annual Quality Dealer Award.
Bruce Zook, who started working at the dealership full time in 1983 after graduating from Morningside College, took over day-to-day management in the mid 1990s, but his father continued to come into the office on a regular basis.
The younger Zook said he will miss working side-by-side with his father, as well as the interaction with his customers and employees.
Zook Motors is the second locally owned and family operated new car dealer in Sioux City to be sold in recent months to a large regional dealer. In June, Sioux Falls-based Billion Auto acquired Hoak Motors at 4300 Southgate Drive.