The Company’s History
In 1950 the Bloomer family relocated from the Upper Peninsula of Michigan to purchase Wayzata Chevrolet which was located on Lake and Superior Boulevards, just west of the Wayzata Bay Center.
The dealership was renamed Village Chevrolet Company and in the late 1950’s moved to the Wayzata Collision building which is located just off Hwy 15 and Wayzata Boulevard. Another move in 1965 placed Village Chevrolet in the building it is located in today.
After graduating from the University of Minnesota in 1969, William (Steve) Bloomer joined the company selling used cars and held a variety of sales positions, including Sales Manager for the following 12 years. During that time, Steve worked under the mentorship of his father and Jerry Palmer to learn how to manage the operation. Steve’s most memorable lesson in becoming successful was to find the best and brightest people to work with. Steve believes this philosophy has resulted in the loyalty he has experienced from his employees and customers which allowed the company to grow to where it is today.
Steve became General Manager in 1980 when Jerry Palmer moved on to own and operate a Ford dealership.
In 1981, Steve Bennett joined as Finance Manager and shortly thereafter became Sales Manager at Village Chevrolet.
The company grew into Village Automotive Group through the addition of two more franchises. In 1983, the company was one of the first dealerships in the country to be awarded the Mitsubishi franchise. Steve Bennett became the Sales Manager of this new operation and eventually was promoted to General Manager.
In 1989, Village Automotive Group became one of the “original” charter dealerships for Lexus in the United States. By 1996, Lexus awarded the Village Automotive Group the opportunity to be the first dealership in the United States with a companion (second) store which would serve the St Paul market and is located in Maplewood As Chevrolet, Mitsubishi and Lexus franchises grew in size and complexity, Steve Bennett became Vice President and Chief Operating Officer of Village Automotive Group assisting Steve Bloomer, President with overseeing these operations.
Today, the Village Automotive Group consists of Village Chevrolet, Lexus of Wayzata, The Bargain Lot and Wayzata Collision Center all located in Wayzata just off Hwy 394 and Hwy 15; and Lexus of Maplewood located off Hwy 694 and Hwy 61 on the east side of the Twin Cities.
We are proud to have 400 plus employees, some of whom have experienced the growth and expansions of the organization since its beginning.