The Mercedes-Benz of Buffalo dealership has been here for 88 years. The dealership has been a family business for three generations. They have been through WWII, the Korean War, the Vietnam War and they have survived through all of these things and Bob LaMastra, President of Mercedes Benz of Buffalo, says he thinks it’s kind of important to our history.
Bob LaMastra says it all started with his uncle in 1933. He had three brothers, two of which worked for him, one, which, was his father, was a doctor. They basically ran the business and then World War II breaks out. They stopped building cars and they converted the dealership to a machine and screw factory to build parts for the war planes. They got back into the car business when the car factories opened up again. Bob says it’s just probably because of family that they were able to get though all of that because they didn’t have a lot of employee and they did the butcher, the baker and the candlestick maker routine.
A little bit more than a year ago Bob LaMastra was on vacation and he got a call from his son who said you better come home because things are getting bad here in New York State. He came home it and originally it looked like the governor shut them down in terms of car sales. They didn’t know what would happen. Bob says they got everybody together and we said we are just going to have to make some sacrifices to get through this thing. He says because they are a tight knit group; most of their employees have been with them a long time; they stuck together and eventually the faucet got turned on and now they are doing very well.