In 1899, the patriarch of the Kerbeck Family, the great-grandfather of the 3 Kerbeck brothers who are the present day owners, began bringing his dream of providing quality transportation to the growing Philadelphia-area population. He sold horse-drawn buggies to well-to-do families, and when their chauffeurs would bring the buggies in for repair, or to change their configuration from season to season, Charles F. Kerbeck provided overnight lodging for them. Horse drawn carriages evolved into coaches powered by gasoline engines, which evolved into automobiles. Over a century later, the Kerbeck Dealerships are among the most prominent and successful in America, with 14 highly successful franchises, 12 different brands and eight separate showrooms. It is one of America's great success stories.
In the early 1920s, Frank C. Kerbeck Sr. continued in his father's tradition and opened an automobile dealership in Philadelphia. In the early 1960s, as the population spread outside of the city, Kerbeck opened what was at that time a very large showroom on Route 73 in Palmyra, NJ, (800-KERBECK) at the foot of the Tacony Palmyra Bridge, which was known as the "nickel bridge." He named his new establishment F.C. Kerbeck & Sons and began a distinctive marketing plan: selling pre-owned late-model, low-mileage Cadillacs, at half the price of new.
Today, Kerbeck's vision has been adapted by most car manufacturers with their own version called "certified pre-owned" vehicles. After Mr. Kerbeck Sr. passed away in 1968. his wife Jennie and his eldest son Charles operated the dealership. Shortly thereafter, Charles' two younger brothers, George and Frank, joined the business and the company began developing into the mega-dealership of today.
In the late 1970s, the Kerbecks foresaw an exciting opportunity and expanded into Atlantic City. (609-344-2100). They began growing and earning the respect of manufacturers, and were awarded franchises for some of the automobile industry's leading brands. They became authorized by both imports and domestic manufacturers and were selling and servicing automobiles from Chevrolet to Rolls Royce, both high-line luxury and brands with a broader appeal. Step by step, their vision turned into a reality. Aligning themselves with General Motors, they were awarded highly coveted franchises for Cadillac, Chevrolet, Buick and GMC. Soon, they also earned franchises from Subaru and Mitsubishi.
To meet the increasing demand in South Jersey, the Kerbecks added another large operation in Pleasantville, NJ (609-646-1500). At the dealership in Palmyra, NJ where it all started, luxury car franchises were awarded by Rolls Royce, Bentley, Lamborghini, Maserati and Aston Martin. In addition, Buick and GMC were awarded by General Motors. The pre-owned luxury Cadillac division was expanded dramatically to include all luxury cars, including Jaguar, Lexus and Mercedes, continuing with their industry-wide leadership by providing almost new luxury vehicles for the entire metropolitan market. Cars that look, smell and drive like new, for about half the price of new. Currently, the Kerbecks are excited to welcome friends and customers to experience their 20,000 square foot dual-level exclusive showroom that's home to the finest automobiles in the world: Rolls Royce, Aston Martin, Bentley, Lamborghini and Maserati.
These five legendary marques are in individual salons that offer a comfortable and relaxed environment where style and sophistication fuse with luxury and performance. The Kerbeck dealerships are among the most successful in America. Among other accomplishments, they have been the largest volume Corvette dealer in the world for 18 years running, and one of the top volume dealers in several other brands. The dealers' biggest source of pride, however, is outstanding Customer Satisfaction, which has helped make Kerbeck a household name for three generations. Each of the three Kerbeck brothers attributes his success to the core belief that selling cars is not their primary business focus. Rather, they believe, the focus must be on providing products and service that are so outstanding and superior that people will want to buy cars from them. "Our business philosophy is similar to the Disney Company," Charles Kerbeck said, "and to paraphrase Michael Eisner, 'Put quality, service and customer satisfaction first. And while we're at it, try to make sure you don't lose money.'"
To the Kerbeck brothers, the automobile business is not just economics: it's their passion. "We're fortunate that our business is also our hobby. We do what we love and we love what we do," George Kerbeck said. "We all love cars: we love to drive them, and we collect them," he added. "We also love high performance," Frank Kerbeck stated. "It teaches you how to be the best, how to compete and how to win." Reflecting on the family-owned business, Charles Kerbeck said "we're brothers, business partners and we're best friends." The iconic name has experienced tremendous growth in recent years due in part to the now famous widely watched weekly Saturday morning hour-long Kerbeck Atlantic City TV show. Directed every week by George Kerbeck (referred to on-air as "George DeMille,") the shows have made the brand even stronger and have made Charlie, according to his brothers, "a car rock star."
The fourth generation of Kerbecks, including Charles' daughters Jennifer and Sandy Kerbeck, nephew Randy Bayard and niece and nephew Lauren and Al Chapjian are now in the business. The matriarch, Jennie Kerbeck who passed away in 1999, would be very proud!