Van Horn Automotive Group employees now own a 77% majority stake in the Plymouth-based company.
Van Horn announced this week the transition of the company’s Employee Stock Ownership Plan (ESOP) from 30% to the new total of 77%. An ESOP is a qualified retirement plan, granting eligible employees a portion of company stock and ownership interest.
“Our employees are passionate, dynamic, and innovative team players,” said Jeff Niesen, president of Van Horn Automotive Group. “The proof is in our consistent growth of both sales and profits. It only makes sense for our employees to have a greater stake in the continued success of this company.”
Van Horn first entered into the ESOP in 2016, making it the only employee-owned auto group in Wisconsin. The company currently employs 690 people across 19 automotive dealerships.
In addition to this ESOP transition, there are several high-level leadership changes happening at Van Horn. Teresa Van Horn will now serve as the company's sole chief executive officer. Chuck Van Horn is leaving his role as co-chief executive officer after 35 years to focus on Van Horn Development, LLC.
Richard Strong, Van Horn's chief operating officer, will become chairperson on the company's board of directors.
“I’m very happy with the direction this new generation is taking this company," said Chuck Van Horn. "The steep rise in stock valuation indicates how talented our employees are. This customer-centric organization has seen strong growth in sales accompanied by consistent annual investment returns.”