Earlier this month, Tim Rebelsky announced his plan to retire from Kunes Auto Group of Morrison. Since November 27, 1989, he has been dedicated to the auto industry in Morrison for 33 years, the last 7 being with Kunes Auto Group.
Throughout the years, Tim has successfully fulfilled roles as a salesman and a sales manager; although, he confessed that he prefers selling cars over a managing position. Tim not only gained experience from his time at the dealership, but also many friends and fond memories that he reminisced about in an interview detailed below.
Why have you worked with Kunes for so long?
I’m from Clinton, IA, another small town, just down the road. I love the small town of Morrison. Working here in Morrison just felt right because of the small town atmosphere. People are people here; they’re more than just a number.
I enjoy Gregg because he shares the same views about customers as I do. The other day, he actually came to the store and thanked me, letting me know how much he appreciated me. I respect him because he’s a great man, without a doubt.
If you could give your younger self a piece of advice when you first started here, what would it be?
Be aggressive. You need to go up and meet the customer right away. You don’t really see that anymore. You need to earn the customer’s trust because then, they’ll tell their friends about you and that will bring you more customers.
When you want to earn their trust, the best strategy that worked for me was to make them laugh. Getting them to laugh breaks the ice and lets them know that it’s not all about business - we can have fun as well!
Is there a particular moment from when you helped a customer that sticks out to you?
It was a Saturday night around 5 minutes to 4:00 PM, which is when we closed. I was one of the only guys left in the store, when the phone at the service desk started ringing. It was an elderly couple whose vehicle died on Highway 84. Now, this was before we had cell phones, so they either found a payphone or asked to use a business’s phone.
I knew I needed to help this couple because it was the right thing to do. I drove out there with the jumper box and helped them get the car started.
The very next day, the couple came into the store to buy a new battery for their vehicle. It felt good to do something extra by going out to help them, but it felt even better when they came back and showed much they appreciated it.
What does retirement look like for you?
I’ll have a job delivering parts through Napa in Clinton, IA. This is great because when I deliver parts to the store, I can visit with old friends and coworkers. I’m really looking forward to being on a regular 9:00 am - 5:00 pm schedule. It’s going to free up time to spend with my 8 month old granddaughter as well as my mom, who’s 84 years old.
Tim is a dedicated, hard-working, loyal individual who has formed and nurtured many friendships during his time in Morrison. Before cell phones were a thing, Tim would take a picture with customers he just sold a car to. He’d have doubles made and send one copy to the customer as a thank you, then keep one for himself.
Tim remarked, “It’s fun to flip through and see how much we’ve changed. It’s strange to see how different we look, but that happens when we spend everyday together.”
Below is a selection of some of the photos from Tim’s tin box that he kept in his desk. We hope that you enjoy the memories he’s chosen to share with us just as much as we’ve enjoyed him being a part of the Kunes Auto Group family.
Tim’s last day is on Saturday, December 10, 2022. We appreciate everything you’ve done for this store. Take care and see you later!