Tex Earnhardt, founder and CEO of Earnhardt Auto Centers was born on December 9th, 1930. As a child, Tex moves with his family to Texas for a more agricultural life. From that point on, Tex was raised on a ranch in the Rio Grande Valley of Southern Texas, establishing his affinity for ranching, agriculture and cowboy culture.
It was in 1951 when he was twenty years old, that he and his family moved to Chandler, AZ; where his father, Hal Earnhardt, Sr. started a small gas station downtown. The service station provided a small income for his family by selling gas and auto parts. Tex wanted to expand his business to sell automobiles, but the factories in Detroit refused to ship the vehicles to him without expensive transportation costs. Tex went to work and immediately found a solution. He and a friend decided to drive to Detroit, buy a car from the factory, drive both vehicles back to Chandler, and sell the new car. As soon as he sold his first car, he drove right back to Detroit and purchased the second. He repeated the whole process for months.
Eventually his hard work translated into success when factory officials saw how dedicated and strong his work ethic was. Ford Motor Company awarded Tex his own franchise in September of 1951. To this date, Tex holds the record for the youngest franchisee in the history of Ford.
As the dealership grew, Tex became Ford's most respected owner. Lee Iacocca, then a corporate manager, developed a strong relationship with Tex. When Lee accepted the position of CEO for the ailing Chrysler Corporation in the late 70s, he personally flew to Phoenix and asked Tex (and his sons) to become franchise owners. Tex - with his keen intuition and respect for Iacocca - accepted the Chrysler franchise and was soon open for business as a multi-brand car dealer. On the heels of those successes, Tex acquired several more automobile franchises and he became widely known for his great deals and as the cowboy car dealer who rode a bull in his commercials. Tex' trademark slogan "that ain't no bull" was the ultimate truth in advertising. The "bull" he rode in the commercials was really a steer.
Tex' sons, Hal and Jim Babe, eventually joined him in the business as did later, his grandsons, Dodge, Derby, and Bull. Together the Earnhardt family is at the helm of one of the nation's largest privately held automotive empires and is the most recognized auto dealer group in the southwest. Where family-owned and operated automotive companies are a rarity in this market, the Earnhardt family is at their dealerships regularly and personally oversee its operations. Over the years, Earnhardt Auto Centers expanded their operations to include 21 dealers rooftops, representing 23 total dealerships, with 2 of the dealerships in Las Vegas, Nevada. Additionally, Earnhardt operates 2 body shops in Arizona.
The Earnhardt family's dedication to the well-being of their employees is legendary. In hundreds of cases they have personally lent moral and financial support to employees who were facing an illness or family tragedy. The Earnhardts know their success comes from dedicated employees as well as the communities that support Earnhardt; so Earnhardt supports them as well! Various charities and needy causes have also benefited from the Earnhardt's philanthropy. Upon Tex' passing in 2020, the Earnhardt Family donated to St. Mary's Food Bank, Child Crises Center and United Food Bank to honor his name. In November of 2020, St Mary’s Foodbank in turn created the Annual Tex Earnhardt Charity Food Drive in honor of Tex and his legacy of giving. Inspired by Tex and the Earnhardt family’s charitable efforts, many of their employees participate in a company charity program called “No Bull Charities-Employee Contributions”, whereby individual donations are voluntarily deducted from their monthly paychecks and donated to employee selected charities on a quarterly basis.
Since 1951, the Earnhardt family has been selling cars and trucks to people across the southwest United States and will continue to do so for many years to come. Although times have changed, what has never changed is the Earnhardt commitment to world class service, famous low prices and the best selection of America's most popular vehicles. Earnhardt -- it's “a name you can trust” …and that ain't no bull! Follow Earnhardt Auto Centers in social media: @Earnhardt_Auto_Centers on Instagram and EarnhardtAutoCenters on Facebook.
I can't say enough great things about my experience with Rodeo, and especially with Kristina. She communicated extremely well, and put in the time to give us pricing on tires to make sure we could compare out on the market. Then she called to make sure we got the price she quoted and that there were no surprises. She made sure we were apprised of every update.
The issue we brought the car in for was identified quickly, and replaced under warranty. Another issue was identified, which Rodeo made sure was also covered by the warranty.
Every aspect of the repair and tire change was superb. Excellent experience all around.... More
Less than a month ago
The customer service was excellent but the wait time for the repair service was extremely excessive but in there defense I was offered a ride home in lieu of waiting overall I was content with the outcome.
Less than a month ago
We had a great experience with Steven Simpson. Bought a nice Tucson there and Rodeo Hyundai was so easy to deal with. Very polite, willing to show us any car and sit back with no pressure. And when we were ready to buy, they made is simple to get in and get out. We forgot some documents on the trade-in and Steve didn't sweat it at all. Five stars!
Less than a month ago
My family met “Cup-Of-Joe” when one of my sons wanted to purchase his first vehicle. Joe is a family man himself so he understands the parent’s priority for safety yet he managed to marry the aesthetic appeal for my son. The end purchase was perfect; my kid is SO happy.
We were so pleased with the entire process that after our family suffered the unfortunate event of totaling a vehicle, we knew we wanted to work with Joe.
Joe ended up finding my second son an even better vehicle than his initial purchase and he remains extremely satisfied with the new vehicle to this day.
A little later, I needed something more fuel efficient for my new job and we went back to “Cup-Of-Joe” and struck a FANTASTIC deal on a car.
It’s been over a couple years since we met Joe and my family still keeps in touch through his detailing services. I never could appreciate the damage the elements cause to even the newest of vehicles. The information and attention to detail this man provides with his service is impeccable.
I would encourage everyone to engage Joe with confidence. Whether it be buying a new/used vehicle, getting a phenomenal detail or getting window tint- JOE IS YOUR GUY!... More
Less than a month ago
Friendly staff (sales and finance) who were not pushy and expressed their every desire to meet my needs and make me as comfortable as possible. I typically despise the car buying process, yet those at Rodeo Hyundai were great to work with. Transparent about every aspect and process while taking time to get to know me and assuring that they were being efficient while valuing my time. My car is perfect... and the staff ensured that I was happy with my decision. They were communicative every step of the way. The staff at Rodeo Hyundai were professional yet personable and have followed through with all of their promises. I couldn’t be happier with my purchase and the process in general.
I would definitely recommend Rodeo Hyundai to friend and family, and/or anyone looking to purchase a Hyundai! Go see Steve Simpson- he’s the man!... More