Driving On - Stokes Brown Toyota Scion of Hilton Head Celebrates Five Years
Author: Peter Zink
When you walk into the spacious showroom at Stokes Brown Toyota off Fording Island Road, you wouldn’t be remiss in thinking it was built yesterday. The floors glisten, light floods through the glass windows, and a friendly staff stands ready to greet you at the door. An elegant timeline of Toyota’s evolution from the 1950s is displayed above the showroom floors. There’s a quiet hum and energy that strikes you as you wait, service reps and customers chat amiably in the open and cars beckon you to check them out. In a sense, it’s easy to lose track of time here.
Perhaps that explains why when we sat down with Tom Farabaugh, general sales manager of Stokes Brown Toyota, even he couldn’t believe how far the dealership has come in the last five years. “It still really hasn’t sunk in, frankly, that it’s been five years,” he said.
Serving as general sales manager since the dealership opened, Farabaugh knows cars. He’s worked with them for 30 years, but Stokes is a favorite. “There are a lot of great people here. They support us very well, and we’re very thankful to have them. I’ve worked in other markets like Savannah, New Bern, and the south side of Pittsburgh. The customers here tend to be much more loyal and very easy to understand and work with.”
Shepherding the dealership through a financial crisis, recall effort, and a tsunami in Japan, life has stayed interesting so far. Farabaugh credits the honest and direct approach he takes with his customers for pulling the dealership through. When recall allegations hit Toyota a few years ago, Stokes-Brown didn’t shy away from it. “We tried to be an outlet for information, to be transparent. There was a lot of spinning of facts that weren’t 100 percent accurate. And ironically, they later found out there was no problem. But that didn’t come out until three or four months later,” he said.
When the tsunami hit Japan, Stokes Brown watched their inventory on hand drop more than 60 percent. But again, customers understood. “They were willing to preorder and wait to allow us to get the car they wanted. So we weathered the storm pretty well,” Farabaugh said.
Tom Farabaugh, General Sales Manager
Looking ahead, Farabaugh wants to expand the dealership’s community involvement even further and give back to all the great clients that have kept them going. While Stokes has been active in the past with blood drives, golf outings, the Hilton Head Theater, and Family Promise, they want to give back more. The dealership hopes to have customer appreciation movie nights shortly where people can bring their cars or sit in new ones and watch a drive-in movie by the showroom. For Farabaugh and the crew, it just makes sense. “Stokes has been involved since 1983 with the local community, and that’s one of the things we want to continue with this dealership,” Farabaugh said.
Come celebrate with Stokes Brown Toyota Scion of Hilton Head this month by visiting 100 Fording Island Rd. For more information, call (843) 815-4444 or visit stokesbrowntoyotahh.com.