More than 50 years ago, Bob McKamey opened Capital Toyota here in Chattanooga. In 1966, when this dealership opened, it was the very first Toyota dealership in the state of Tennessee and is still the only Toyota dealership in Chattanooga.
Capital Toyota quickly began to grow under the business skills of McKamey and it became the first Toyota dealership within the 14 mid-America states to sell 100 Toyota vehicles in one month. McKamey was also the first Toyota dealer to sell a fleet of 100 Toyota trucks to the United States government.
It didn’t take long for McKamey to show off his leadership potential, and he became the founding director of the Toyota Dealer Advertising Board (TDA). He served as its president for 26 years. He also formed the local Cincinnati TDA—the oldest in the country. Today it has a budget of more than $70 million.
McKamey has also held leadership roles and has been active in the Toyota National Council, the Cincinnati Regional Dealer Advisory Board, the Toyota Dealer Council, the American International Automobile Dealers Association (AIADA), and the Chattanooga Automobile Dealers Association.
As his career progressed, McKamey recognized the importance of political action, and in 1991 he was one of the founding directors of the Americans for Free International Trade Political Action Group (AFIT-PAC).
He later served as a representative for Toyota and AIADA on three trade missions to Japan to help with free trade negotiations. He also played a critical role in preventing the passage of a tax that would have effectively doubled the cost of all imported vehicles.
One of McKamey most significant accomplishments was being a lead voice in pushing Toyota towards developing the Toyota Finance Company, now known as Toyota Motor Credit Company (TMCC). Today, TMCC is a major asset that is used by both Toyota and Lexus dealers.
As a gift for the city of Chattanooga, the McKamey family organized the McKamey Pet and Adoption Center, which is one of the most highly ranked centers of its kind in the country.
Even after 50 years in the business, Bob McKamey shows no signs of quitting. He recently completed renovations on Capital Toyota and will start the renovation process in 2017 on Lexus of Chattanooga.
Here at Capital Toyota, we could not be more proud of our heritage and the strong leader we have at our head.