Auto group honors Hansen


POSTED: Thursday, April 22, 2010

Hawaii Automobile Dealers Association 2010 Dealer of the Year Ron Hansen was honored recently at the National Automobile Dealers Association convention as one of 47 state dealers awarded.

“;It was such a pleasure just to meet these guys and share experiences,”; he said. “;We've had two very tough years in our industry,”; but he was buoyed by other dealers' tales of “;how we all held together. It reinforced why we do this.”;

Hansen is a partner and chief operating officer of Lihue-based King Auto Group, comprising King Auto Center on Kauai, King Windward Nissan and King Infiniti of Honolulu. His son, Keoni Hansen, is general manager of the latter.

The elder Hansen, who co-founded the business with Charles King in 1995, started in the industry in Hawaii in 1967 with a job at the Volkswagen dealership on Ala Moana Boulevard. The award “;is kind of a nice way to finish my career,”; he said, though his retirement is not imminent.

The glamorous honor followed an ordeal of a trip to Orlando that took days rather than hours, due to snowstorms and multiple flight cancellations and delays.

“;We wound up spending the night in Denver airport,”; he said.

Ron Hansen was due in Orlando for an 8 a.m. function and the 2:30 a.m. outbound flight only had one seat so his wife, Elizabeth, spent a second night at the airport and arrived with hours to spare before the big gala reception that night. “;On the way back, the same thing happened,”; Hansen said.