Hawking said he came to Flagstaff in mid-July, put on a job fair a few days later and reopened the doors by the end of the month, mostly staying busy in the first few weeks with auto service customers. The new crew at Mercedes-Benz of Flagstaff has also been busy doing services for Sprinters and RVs, he added.
“There hasn’t been a lot of sales customers because I don’t think the community knows that we are open,” Hawking said.
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Hawking, who comes to Flagstaff from Santa Clarita, California, has spent 30 years in the industry, so trying to get the dealership back on its feet during a pandemic is a challenge he’s embracing overall.
“Life is full of challenges, so we have to take them chin up and do the best we can with them,” Hawking said.
In order to connect with the Flagstaff community, Hawking said he wants to keep business local and keep the tax dollars in the city, making sure that those aspects don’t escape to the south.
He knows the importance of that personally.
“I come from a small community growing up,” Hawking said, “so it’s really important to me that we retain the sales tax dollars within the community instead of it going down to the Valley.”
In fact, Hawking is bringing a lot with him from his previous state.