Business picks up after soft opening this fall

Trace Brown, Monty Daniels, and Mark McGlumphry make up the new sales team at Rick Becker’s Auto Sales & Service.  PHOTO BY RUBY BODEKER

Following a low-key, soft opening this fall, the new team at Rick Becker’s Auto Sales & Service is ready to put area residents in their next car, truck, SUV, or even motorcycle.

Located at 903 West 4th Street, Vinton, in the building previously owned by Jeremy Koopman, Rick Becker’s Auto Sales & Service offers on-site used car sales, auto repair and maintenance at their West D Avenue location, and used motorcycle sales.

The brand new sales team is comprised of General Manager Mark McGlumphry, Monty Daniels, and Trace Brown.

The trio has only been working as a unit for roughly two months, but their rapport makes it seem they’ve been in business together for years.

Owned and operated by Benton County resident Rick Becker, the business recently separated from Rooster’s Auto Sales.

“It was an amicable separation,” explained McGlumphry as he took a break inside his mostly-empty showroom in the new building. “But everything has settled down now.” With spring 2019 in mind for a formal grand opening celebration, McGlumphry has big plans for the business, including a completely redesigned showroom. “Everything is going to be Benton County and Iowa themed. I love this area.” McGlumphry is originally from Iowa City; Daniels was born and raised in Northwest Iowa in the Loess Hills region; Brown is a Washington High School, Cedar Rapids graduate.

All three have extensive work histories that led them to Becker’s, but as McGlumphry points out--”None of us started off as car salesman.”

Indeed, their life histories seem to have bonded the men together rather quickly--both Daniels and Brown are U.S. service veterans, all are the fathers of daughters, and each brings a specialty skill to the team.

“Trace [Brown] ran AutoZone in Cedar Rapids as the manager for 20 years,” said McGlumphry. “He’s not a salesman, but his personality makes him so.”

In regards to Daniels, McGlumphry said, “He and I [previously] worked together at Zimmerman [dealership in Cedar Rapids]...He’s our tech guru...a jack of all trades.”

Daniels came to the used car sales trade by way of a 30-year career in computer technology; today he’s a single dad of five and lives in La Porte City.

An Iowa City High School graduate, McGlumphry describes his childhood as diverse and culturally-rich.

And it’s apparent he has little trouble making connections with people--he is easy-going, often makes jokes, and keeps the conversation lively and interesting, even when he’s talking about something depressing, like transmission problems.

 All three men have quickly become fans of the Benton County countryside where they each enjoy riding their motorcycles on the weekends, says McGlumphry.

“We will have used bikes [motorcycles] for sale outside eventually,” explained McGlumphry, including some specialty bikes.

Asked what sets Becker’s apart from other used car shops, McGlumphry responds, “A million different details,” but focuses on three key things: integrity, Carfax reports, and repairs.

“I am very confident in what we do. I buy it the right way. We do our research...Before we put a car out [on the lot], we know everything.”

McGlumphry explains that by using Carfax--a web-based, independent company that compiles history reports on used vehicles--his mechanics are able to thoroughly diagnose and repair, thereby giving customers complete transparency in what they’re buying and confidence in the purchase.

“I have three daughters, Trace [Brown] is a grandfather, Monty’s got five kids, we have great cars,” McGlumphry said, cars he and his team would want their own kids driving.

Most of McGlumphry’s sales so far have primarily been to customers outside Benton County, and that, he says, is due to their online presence.

“We use both Facebook Marketplace and Craigslist.”

They also have a website where every listing contains a “Show Me The Carfax” button, linking customers directly to that specific vehicle’s detailed history for free.

Asked to sum up the Rick Becker’s Auto Sales & Service experience, McGlumphry replies without hesitation, “Customers may not always be right, but they are always number one. Always.”

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