2012 60thANNIVERSARY FACT SHEET
1952 – Sam Swope and Al Graf incorporate Swope-Graf Motors, Inc. in
Elizabethtown, Kentucky, with two automobile brands comprising its
inventory, Dodge and Plymouth; one year later Mr. Swope obtains sole
interest in the company which is renamed Swope Motors, Inc.
1957 – Louisville’s first Swope dealership, Swope’s Plymouth City, opens on Dixie Highway.
1960 – Swope opens its second Louisville dealership, Swope Auto Company on Breckenridge Lane, offering both the Chrysler
and Plymouth brands; one year later Swope obtains the Pontiac franchise
and Swope Auto Company becomes Sam Swope Pontiac, Inc., one of the most
acclaimed and recognized dealerships in Kentuckiana.
1966 – Sam Swope Pontiac opens an all-new, state-of-the-art dealership and
relocates to the thriving Shelbyville Road area of St. Matthews in
Louisville; one year later Swope introduces the unknown-at-the-time
franchise of Toyota to Louisville at Swope’s Plymouth City on Dixie,
later to become well-known as Toyota of Louisville.
1971 – Unprecedented growth kicks off the decade as Swope introduces
Louisville to the Honda automobile franchise at its renowned Shelbyville
1976 – Swope purchases St. Matthew’s-based Courtesy Cadillac; two years
later, Swope acquires the BMW franchise for the same Shelbyville Road
location, establishing itself as the go-to dealership for luxury
1984 – Swope purchases 24 acres on Hurstbourne Parkway to build Sam Swope’s
lifelong professional dream, The Sam Swope Auto Center.
1988 – Groundbreaking ceremonies take place for the Sam Swope Auto Center;
The Swope Automotive Group, Inc. is officially created; one short year
later, Phase 1 of the Louisville AutoCenter (later named the Swope
AutoCenter) is completed featuring Cadillac, Sam Swope Pontiac GMC, Sam
Swope Honda World and Sam Swope Mitsubishi.
1991 – Phase 2 of the Louisville AutoCenter opens, introducing Infiniti to
Kentuckiana, followed throughout the decade with Sam Swope BMW and Lexus
of Louisville, amongst other notable automotive brands.
1997 – Sam Swope’s Big Lot, Kentuckiana’s First Used Car Super Store opens.
1998 – Swope Automotive Group, Inc. officially becomes The Sam Swope Auto Group, Inc.
2001 – Toyota of Louisville celebrates its new facility with a ribbon cutting and grand opening at 6514 Dixie Highway.
2003 – The Sam Swope Auto Group is awarded the Better Business Bureau Torch Award for Marketplace Ethics by the BBB
of Louisville, Southern Indiana & Western Kentucky, a first for a
regional automobile dealership (Swope is once again recognized for the
same prestigious award eight years later in 2011); Swope acquires the Volvo franchise.
2008 – Swope exclusively introduces the ultimate ‘car of the future’ with its Smart Center Louisville grand opening.
The Sam Swope Auto Group is currently comprised of 24 auto dealerships
in Louisville, Lexington, Radcliff, and Elizabethtown. Consistently
recognized and identified as the number one new and used car dealership
throughout Kentuckiana and the Commonwealth, the Sam Swope Auto Group
employs over 500 dedicated associates. Its mission, as it was 60 years
ago, is to deliver incomparable commitment, customer service, and value
to its consumers, as it simultaneously contributes to the Commonwealth’s
economic strength. Continuing with is heritage as the first in
automotive innovation throughout Kentucky and the region, the venerable
dealership kicks off 2012 with the introduction of the Fiat brand with
Fiat of Louisville at 4311 Shelbyville Road.
After 60 years at the helm, Mr. Sam Swope officially announces his retirement
and designates Patricia “Patti” Swope as Chairman of the Board,
effective immediately, with Richard S. “Dick” Swope continuing as
President & CEO of the Sam Swope Auto Group.