The Shaker Auto Group A New England Automotive Dynasty

The Shaker Auto Group A New England Automotive Dynasty

The Shaker Auto Group A New England Automotive Dynasty

In the heart of New England, a family automotive business has flourished for over 80 years, growing from humble beginnings into a prominent multi-brand empire. This is the story of the Shaker Auto Group – a tale of grit, perseverance, and an unwavering commitment to integrity that has kept customers loyal for generations. The Shaker Auto Group A New England Automotive Dynasty.

An Immigrant’s Dream Takes Root in Waterbury (1930s)

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The seeds of the Shaker legacy were planted in 1930 when Joseph Shaker, a Lebanese immigrant, opened a modest service station and garage in the South End of Waterbury, Connecticut. Having honed his skills fixing trucks at the local farmer’s market, Joseph saw an opportunity in the burgeoning automotive industry. With a few tools and an abundance of determination, he began servicing vehicles out of his humble shop. Word quickly spread about Joseph’s expertise and fair prices. As the decades passed, his business grew steadily, with three of his four children – Ed, Richard and Rose – growing up and later joining to work alongside their father as he transitioned into operating a car dealership. What had started as a simple repair shop was laying the foundation for an automotive dynasty in the making and a century-long impact on the city of Waterbury.

Persevering Through Adversity (1955-1976)

However, the fledgling family business would face major challenges in the form of natural disasters and accidental fires. In 1955, their operations were impacted by the devastating Flood of 1955 that inundated the region. Then in 1976, a fire ripped through and completely flattened their dealership facilities. Lesser businesses may have folded from such repeated blows, but the Shaker family’s resolve and commitment to their craft proved indomitable. They picked up the pieces and rebuilt, demonstrating the grit that would help propel them to future success.

The First Dealership Emerges (1960s)

As the 1960s arrived, the Shaker family took a bold step into the retail automotive world by establishing Shaker’s Lincoln Mercury in Waterbury. This marked their transition from a local service provider to a full-fledged dealership representing Ford’s Lincoln and Mercury brands. The new dealership quickly gained a reputation for its knowledgeable staff, quality service, and the Shaker family’s personal touch. Customers appreciated the transparent, no-nonsense approach the Shakers brought to each sale and service interaction. “We’ve always believed in treating customers the way we’d want to be treated,” said Corey Shaker, the current patriarch. “No games, no gimmicks – just honest deals and standing behind our work. That’s the Shaker way. “This ethos would prove invaluable as the business continued expanding in the coming decades.

New Brands and Locations (1990s-2000s)

With success came the opportunity for growth. In the 1990s, the Shakers opened Shaker’s Family Hyundai in Watertown, bringing the value-packed Korean brand to their local market. A few years later, they added Shaker’s Quick Lane Tire & Auto Care in nearby Naugatuck to provide repair and tire services. As the 2000s dawned, the third generation of Shakers – Corey, Joseph, Janet, Steve and Ed – hurled themselves into the business, spearheading an ambitious expansion. They pushed beyond Waterbury County’s borders, establishing Modern Mazda in Thomaston in 2002. Then the Wellesley Mazda in Wellesley, Massachusetts in 2008. This marked their entry into the lucrative Boston market area.

However, their most significant move came in 2010 when Ford announced the discontinuation of the Mercury brand. While this could have derailed the original Shaker’s Lincoln Mercury, the family adroitly transitioned the Watertown location to a dual Ford-Lincoln dealership now called Shaker Family Ford Lincoln. Over the next few years, they further diversified by adding Shaker’s Chrysler Dodge Jeep Ram and Shaker’s Kia, also in Watertown. These additions gave customers a wide range of brands to choose from, all under the Shaker Auto Group umbrella.

Earning Industry Accolades (2010s)

The group’s rapid growth and staunch commitment to customer service did not go unnoticed by its manufacturing partners. In 2013, the CEO of Ford Motor Company paid a personal visit to Shaker Family Ford Lincoln in Watertown. He commend the dealership’s success and adherence to transparent business practices. “The Shaker family exemplifies the values we want associated with the Ford brand,” stated the CEO during his visit. “Their integrity, community ties and laser focus on customer satisfaction are a model for our entire dealer network. “Corey Shaker acknowledged it was a proud moment but remained humble. “We’re just doing what we’ve always done – treating people with honesty and respect. That’s never going to change. “Other manufacturers took notice as well. Both Hyundai and Mazda have honored Shaker dealerships multiple times for outstanding sales and customer satisfaction performance.

The Shaker Legacy Today

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Today, the Shaker Auto Group has grown into a veritable automotive empire, with over 500 employees across seven dealerships representing 13 brands in Connecticut and Massachusetts: Connecticut Locations:

  • Shaker Family Ford Lincoln (Watertown)
  • Shaker’s Family Hyundai (Watertown)
  • Modern Mazda (Thomaston)
  • Shaker’s Chrysler Dodge Jeep Ram (Watertown)
  • Shaker’s Kia (Watertown)
  • Shaker’s Quick Lane Tire & Auto Care (Naugatuck)

Massachusetts Location:

  • Wellesley Mazda (Wellesley)

From the flagship Ford and Lincoln nameplates to value-leaders like Hyundai, Mazda, Dodge, Jeep, Chrysler, Ram and Kia, the Shaker Auto Group offers an unparalleled selection for New England car buyers. Each location is staffed by knowledgeable professionals upholding the founding principles of honesty, integrity and transparency. Joseph Shaker instilled this over 80 years ago. “We’re car people through and through,” stated Corey’s son Brett, who now oversees operations. “Our success comes from hiring employees who have that same passion for the automotive world that’s been part of our family legacy from the very beginning.”

A Lasting Community Impact

That passion extends far beyond just selling and servicing vehicles. Over their century-long history, the Shaker family has had an enormous positive impact on their hometown of Waterbury and the surrounding region. They are generous supporters of local charities, youth organizations and community events throughout Connecticut. From sponsoring little league teams to hosting an annual Thanksgiving turkey drive. The Shakers remain committed to giving back to the community that helped foster their success. In recognition of their enduring presence and contributions over 100 years, the Shaker family was honored as the recipient of the prestigious Brass Button Award from the Mattatuck Museum in 2022.

The award celebrates individuals and organizations that have made significant impacts in the greater Waterbury area. The Shakers were celebrated at a special event on September 14, 2022 at the Mattatuck Museum. The family being lauded for their multi-generational commitment to entrepreneurship, customer service, and civic leadership dating back to Joseph Shaker opening that first garage in 1930.As the fourth generation of Shakers prepares to one day take the reins, the group’s future seems brighter than ever.

With a portfolio of dealerships spanning the Northeast, a reputation for customer-focused business practices, deep community ties, and a century of family legacy. The Shaker Auto Group has certainly etched its name into the pantheon of New England’s automotive dynasties. From a single service station to multi-brand behemoth, the Shakers have traveled a long road. Yet the ideals that drove Joseph Shaker in 1930 – hard work, integrity and a passion for the automobile – remain the driving forces propelling the family business forward even today. As Corey Shaker succinctly stated, “That’s just the Shaker way.”