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Family-owned car dealership revs up South County

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McCune Motors is a family-owned company with two locations, one along the Mile of Cars in National City and the other in the Chula Vista Auto Park. McCune Motors has been awarded the coveted status of a 5-star Award for Excellence rating by Chrysler LLC. In addition, McCune has also been awarded the No. 1 Chrysler dealership in California for 12 years and running. Chrysler has incorporated a number of McCune's departmental processes and business forms as a prototype for other dealerships to use in their daily operations, and Chrysler has adopted these forms as well for their own 5-Star dealership process guidebook.

Tony McCune's father, Dick, opened a small Chrysler dealership in 1948 in National City, and "Tony" -- actually Richard McCune II -- worked there during school vacations, washing cars. By 1970, Tony McCune had worked his way up to the position of general manager and was given control of the dealership in 1973.

In the late 1970s, he built the facility at the corner of 24th Street and National City Boulevard. McCune remembered the day in 1980 when then-Chrysler Corp. President Lee Iacocca toured the dealership as the finishing touches were being applied. Walking through the expansive parts department, Iacocca asked, "Tony, do you know something that I don't?"

McCune had no crystal ball, but he was optimistic about the future. "I took a big gamble and I'm glad I did," McCune said.

Aside from the business success McCune has had with Chrysler, through the years he has also been an active participant in the San Diego community. "Mr. M," as his employees call him, has been a supporter of several nonprofit organizations such as Children's Hospital, Big Brothers and Sisters, Boy Scouts, South County Economic Development Corp., the local Chamber of Commerce and the San Diego Human Society. McCune donates a portion of his proceeds to these various causes yearly.

McCune is currently on the board of directors for the National City Chamber of Commerce and his auto dealership, McCune Chrysler Jeep Dodge, is one of the chamber's longest active chamber businesses. McCune has been part of the Chamber of Commerce since 1953.

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