Mitsubishi Motors Dealer Partner Spotlight – Camacho Mitsubishi on Following the Entrepreneurial Spirit
Mitsubishi Motors North America, Inc. (MMNA) is celebrating dealer partners who go above and beyond for their communities. They provide more than just a great place to buy a car – they help their hometowns thrive in the good times and heal in the challenging times. They rise to the occasion in support of the community, whatever the occasion may be. This month, we are proud to feature Gus Camacho, dealer principal of Camacho Mitsubishi in Lancaster, California.
FIVE QUESTIONS WITH GUSTAVO “GUS” CAMACHO
Dealer Principal, Camacho Mitsubishi
- Your father (Gustavo Camacho Senior) emigrated from Mexico in the late 60’s with $40 in his pocket and the dream of becoming a successful businessman. Tell us how he made that dream a reality. After coming to America, my father worked picking grapes at a winery, making coal at a coal plant, welding tracks for the Southern Pacific Railroad and selling used cars part time at a Ford store. In 1980, he opened his own independent used car store on a dirt lot in Lancaster, CA. His office was a trailer, which he chained to a telephone pole to keep it from being stolen. In 1984, he opened his second location in the next town over, Palmdale. Along the way, he established values for Camacho Auto Sales and stayed true to them – be friendly, passionate, driven, family and community oriented, respectful and fun.
- And from the beginning, it was a family business? I began my career in the automotive industry when I was 8-years-old, hah, helping my mother clean the dealership trailer and bathrooms, and detail the vehicles. I went straight to the dealership after school and worked there on weekends. Over the years, I held every position – porter, detailer, assistant tech, collector, clerical, wholesaler, salesperson and desk manager… During breaks from high school and college, I even repossessed vehicles! After graduating from Pepperdine with a business degree, I went to work for the family business full time with lofty goals: hire the best people, improve the processes and grow the business. In 1996, my dad retired, and passed the business on to me. Since then, Camacho Auto Sales has expanded from a 10-person business to a 135-person business, generating more than $30 million in annual sales. But it is still a family business at its core, if you walk into one of our stores today, you will see my children behind the counter. The thing I am most proud of is that I get to pass the family business on to them.
- In addition to being family oriented, Camacho Mitsubishi is community oriented. You’ve volunteered thousands of hours by serving on dozens of boards. Tell about the causes closest to your heart. For 10 years, I have served as the director of the Antelope Valley Sherriff Boosters. Booster donations have helped save hundreds of law enforcement lives by providing the equipment and training they need to protect and serve our community. Through the Camacho Auto Sales “Road to the Future” scholarship program, we have donated thousands of dollars in scholarships to eight different high schools in our community. I’ve also served in the Rotary Club, Chambers of Commerce, the Board of Trade and the College Foundation for Antelope Valley. I served as the grand marshal of the Palmdale Christmas Parade and the Cinco de Mayo Parade… A business is only as strong as the community around it, so when I am not in the store, or at home with family, I give every spare hour and dollar I have to strengthening our community. I hope Camacho Mitsubishi is around for another 41 years.
- Speaking of the future, you’re not just providing young people in your community scholarships – you’re providing the hands-on technical and soft skill training needed to launch their own careers. Tell us about that. In the past, Camacho Auto Sales has partnered with Palmdale High School Falcons Garage to mentor future automotive technicians. For a few hours each week, local automotive class students come to Camacho to shadow our technicians and learn from them. We’ve actually hired several of these students after high school, and they are some of our hardest working and most enthusiastic team members. And through the Lancaster West Job Mentoring and Shadowing program, we’ve given hundreds of mock interviews for high school students interested in the automotive industry. And we have supported the Lancaster Chamber of Commerce Entrepreneurial Program, which gives middle school teens an opportunity to create their own business and compete for awards. It is important to me that we recognize and reward that same entrepreneurial spirit – found originally in my father – that got us to where we are today.
- What is special about the Mitsubishi brand to you? I am a businessman, a father, a husband, a proud Latino – the causes and the brands I align myself with matter. I can feel good about putting my colleagues, my neighbors and my family in a Mitsubishi. The brand represents quality, dependability, reliability – it represents value. It has long represented these things, but it was time for them to think big, and they did. The all-new 2022 Outlander is a 10 out of 10 – bold on the outside, sophisticated on the inside, safe and comfortable all around. The buzz around Outlander is so strong right now… people are showing up at the store to see it for themselves. We also have the completely re-designed 2022 Eclipse Cross, and we just confirmed that the plug-in hybrid (PHEV) Outlander will arrive next year. It is an exciting time to be a Mitsubishi dealer partner and a proud moment for me.
About Mitsubishi Motors North America, Inc.
Through a network of approximately 330 dealer partners across the United States, Mitsubishi Motors North America, Inc., (MMNA) is responsible for the sales, marketing and customer service of Mitsubishi Motors vehicles in the U.S. MMNA was the top-ranked Japanese brand in the J.D. Power 2021 Initial Quality study, ranking third overall and tied with Lexus. In its Environmental Targets 2030, MMNA’s parent company Mitsubishi Motors Corporation has set a goal of a 40 percent reduction in the CO2 emissions of its new cars by 2030 through leveraging EVs — with PHEVs as the centerpiece — to help create a sustainable society.
With headquarters in Franklin, Tennessee, and corporate operations in California, Georgia, Michigan, New Jersey, Texas, Florida and Virginia, MMNA directly and indirectly employs more than 8,000 people across the United States.
For more information on Mitsubishi vehicles, please contact the Mitsubishi Motors News Bureau at 615- 257-2698 or visit media.mitsubishicars.com.
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