LARNED — The friends and customers of Al Hanken Motors gathered for the city’s worst-kept secret — owner Don Hanken was selling the business to Terry Taylor.
The newly-named Auto Pro will be open Monday through Friday 8 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. The phone number is (620) 285-3141.
Terry Taylor’s speech
on new ownership
“We’ve been in this community for 33 years. I’ve worked for the city of Larned for 32 years and ran the vehicle maintenance program. Recently, I had an opportunity to take an early retirement. I wasn’t ready to retire.
“So, I started looking for something that I could plug into, maybe buy a business or start a business. That’s how the word got out.
“One of the first things we agreed it would be a shame it would be to have this big building turned into a warehouse, or close the business and let the guys go. That fueled our conversations.
“If you’ve ever bought a car from Don, he doesn’t start from the bottom. We were quite a ways apart. But we had a common picture in mind. We got this deal done over four months. It was quite a challenge. There are a lot of things to work through with a new business.
“We really wanted to keep the employees here. We were able to do that with Larry and Loren. We hired Katherine Roth as our new office manager. This is our team now.
“We’d like to keep doing the service we’ve been doing over the years. We appreciate the customers that we have. I like to meet people and have been able to do that in the past week. We chose not to continue with the name of Al Hanken. We chose to start a new company for business reasons called Auto Pro.
“It’s basically the same business. We want service figured and make that run smooth. I know how to work on things, but I don’t know the first thing about the rest of this. It’s a steep learning curve. Once we get it figured out, we’ll start selling used cars again.”