Jim Ellis, a longtime Georgia dealer and founder of the eponymous auto group, died Friday at his home in Duluth, Georgia, just weeks after the death of his son Jimmy Ellis, CEO of the company. I was.
Jim Ellis was 90 years old. He did not share the cause of death.
All Jim Ellis Automotive stores will be closed Wednesday for his funeral, according to a post on the company’s website and Facebook page.
“Mr. Ellis leaves a lasting legacy as a Christian, business leader, friend and servant in the Atlanta community and automotive industry,” the family said in a statement. “He said that his all-out sacrifice to open a Volkswagen dealership in Chamblee 51 years ago would pay off in the form of millions of dollars in jobs for nearly 1,700 people in the Atlanta area. Little did I know that Metro was helping those in need in the Atlanta community.”
Born January 5, 1932, Jim Ellis, according to his obituary, had a variety of jobs in his youth, including insurance, farm work, milk and paper routes, and prison warden.
After studying business in college and serving two years in the U.S. Army, Ellis ended up in the automotive industry working for General Motors. He and his wife of 69 years Billy Sammons (whom he survived) opened his first dealer Jim Her Ellis Her Volkswagen in 1971 with savings and I cashed out her retirement money and took out a loan.
Its dealerships have grown to a large number and Jim Ellis Automotive now sells 17 brands of vehicles throughout the Atlanta area. Jimmy Ellis took over as CEO of the company until his death on November 5, 2015. he was 67 years old.
Jim Ellis is also survived by two daughters who hold executive roles within the company, and is now run by the third generation of the family after the deaths of the two leaders.
Charity was also important to Jim Ellis. Over $50 million has been donated to organizations in the Atlanta area through the Jim and Billie Ellis Foundation.
His son Greg Ellis, who had schizophrenia, died in 2000 at the age of 40. The same month his son died, Mr. and Mrs. Ellis set up a foundation that distributes annual gifts to charities, including those that help with mental health.
“We enjoy it,” Ellis said car news 2013.