Red River Chevrolet, a multigenerational family-owned, full service dealership headquartered at 221 Traffic Street is celebrating their 90th anniversary. The dealership is operating in its original location at the intersection of I-20 and the Red River in Bossier City, LA.
Founded as a Ford dealership in 1922 named Bossier Motor Company, the dealership later changed its product lineup to Chevrolet and its name to Red River Motor Company in 1931. Today, the dealership offers new and used retail and commercial vehicles and Chevrolet continues to be the top selling brand of new vehicles in North Louisiana, as recognized by automotive data company R.L. Polk.
George Fritze, who began his career stocking parts at Red River Chevy, worked his way up to management and later formed a partnership with his father, James, in 1986. He is a fourth-generation dealer at the same location. His son, Patton Fritze and son-in-law, Alvin Olsan, who serve as general managers of Fixed Operations and Variable Operations, respectively, represent the fifth generation of the family business. The family tradition will continue with the addition of a sixth generation family member — Olsan’s son, Stander Olsan — who will join the company this summer stocking parts, the same way his grandfather got his start at Red River Chevy so many years ago.
“As we move toward our 100th anniversary, this 90th year milestone is a special time to pause and appreciate our values, the vision that has sustained our business through the decades, and what we have built with the people in a place we care deeply about,” said Fritze. “Our treasured family, employees, clients, industry colleagues and friends all share a part of this special history, our success, and Red River Chevy’s lasting legacy.”
According to Fritze, Red River Chevy’s key to success and longevity lies in the employees – more –
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and the service they provide. Red River Chevy has a long tradition of heralding its long-term employees, recognizing their work achievements, personal milestones and service through service awards and celebratory events. The dealership’s showroom features Red River Chevy’s Hall of Fame, which showcases 81 photos of employees, all of whom have worked there 20 or more years.
“Not only do we have generations of employees, we have generations of customers they’ve served — it’s the people who make the difference,” said Fritze. “We have been blessed with loyal, hardworking people who are well trained and genuinely like to help our customers.”
Their emphasis on employee recognition has paid off, as 17 of Red River Chevy’s employees have been with the company for 40 or more years. Neil Huckaby, the only salesperson in the U.S. to be honored with Chevrolet’s Legion of Leaders Award for 50 consecutive years, had a 60-year career at Red River Chevy.
Other milestones include the company’s former shop foreman, Charlie Stoddard, becoming the first recipient of GM’s World Class Master Technician Award in the South Central Region, then the dealership becoming the first dealer worldwide to have 10 certified GM World Class Master Technicians in the mid-1990’s. Red River Chevy currently employs five of the twelve master technicians in Louisiana.
Fritze has modeled the excellence engendered by his employees and next generation of family leaders. Since 1993, when he was named Shreveport Chamber of Commerce’s Rising Young Business Leader, he has consistently received countless top industry awards and honors for his community leadership and philanthropy by organizations including the Bossier and Shreveport chambers of commerce—as Top Business Leader of the Year in back-to-back years (in 2018 and 2019, respectively)—and Junior Achievement. Both Fritze and his father have been named Junior Achievement North Louisiana Business Hall of Fame Laureates; another career highlight for Fritze was receiving national recognition as Time Magazine’s NADA Dealer of the Year 2009.
Today, his partners, Patton Fritze and Alvin Olsan, help continue the company’s legacy of community leadership and giving. For more information, please visit redriverchevy.com.