ANACONDA — After more than 25 years working in the family business, Stacy Leipheimer is finally in the driver’s seat of a car dealership.
Leipheimer, 49, took over as general manager at Discovery Buick GMC in Anaconda at the end of October in place of her older brother, E.G., who is off to pursue other interests.
With experience in nearly all facets of the industry, including bookkeeping, detailing and service, Leipheimer is confident she can build on her brother’s success.
“I understand what it takes to make a dealership run,” she said.
Leipheimer, along with all her siblings, started out young on the car lots. Their father, Ed, and mother, Myrna, put them all to work at his Leipheimer Nissan Mazda Toyota Yamaha in Butte.
The jobs were small, like handling paperwork and washing cars, but Leipheimer enjoyed what she did. She especially enjoyed the people, which
ultimately brought her back full time after graduating from Butte High School in 1980.
Leipheimer spent one year at Montana State University-
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Bozeman to pursue a degree in accounting, but decided she liked working more than going to school.
Back at work for the family, she spent 17 years in parts and services, and another 10 years in accounting and financing. They decided in 2006 to sell the dealership to Toyota of Butte, while Leipheimer’s other brother, Mark, opened his own Yamaha outlet in Rocker.
Years earlier, E.G. had purchased the former Eilerass Buick in Anaconda. When he decided to move on, the family asked if Stacy would be interested in taking his place.
“I’ve always admired this community,” she said. “It seems like everyone knows everyone, which is the nice thing about being in Anaconda.”
Other than a few additions to staff, Leipheimer is keeping the same crew together. They have 13 employees in all.
The dealership also expanded its inventory by 25 percent, and purchased a nearby lot off East Commercial Avenue to catch the eye of traffic driving into town.
“We’re basically reminding people that we’re here,” Leipheimer said. “It’s definitely brought in some new customers.”
Looking ahead to 2012, Leipheimer hopes to continue increasing the dealership’s visibility and reach out to a new generation of drivers.
Sales are already going strong, despite the tough economy, she said.
“If you take care of your people, they will take care of you,” Leipheimer said. “I love coming in to work here every day.”
More than anything, Leipheimer emphasized the dealership is a team effort, and thanked her staff for their dedication.
“They are just first class,” she said. “I cannot say enough about them.”