Northbrook, Ill. — Toyota Motor Sales USA recently recognized Northbrook Toyota Scion with a ‘40 Years in Service’ award at the dealership in Northbrook.
“Only about ten percent of our dealers can actually say that they’ve been around for 40-plus years,” said Kevin Fletcher, Chicago Region General Manager with Toyota. “Northbrook Toyota has the distinction of being one of them.”
The award was presented to Michael Rosengarden, president and owner of Northbrook Toyota Scion, and son of Joseph Rosengarden. “Northbrook Toyota was my father’s idea,” explained Rosengarden. “Somehow in 1973, he had the foresight to believe that people would actually come out and buy these crazy, inexpensive Japanese cars.”
As the Rosengarden family began its tenure as a Toyota dealer in 1973, there were only a handful of Toyota models produced, and they were not very popular. It wasn’t until the gas crisis of 1977 when car buyers began to recognize Toyota’s fuel economy and affordability. “When gas prices soared in 1977, it really spurred the interest in Toyota,” explained Fletcher. The oil crisis became a catalyst for significant growth of the Toyota brand in the United States.
“At the time, I thought this was just another one of his stupid ideas, as all 16 year-olds think of their father’s ideas,” Rosengarden explains as he reflected on his father’s purchase of the dealership in 1973. “And look at what it has turned into.”
Following multiple crises since 2008, Toyota has returned to near pre-recession sales levels, remaining one of the top-selling brands in Chicago and in the US.