Ninety-seven years ago this past March, Lafayette Motor Co. opened for business at 607 Jefferson St. as Louisiana’s first franchised automobile dealer. Over nearly a full century, the name evolved into Lafayette Motors, and we moved only once and then only nine blocks down the same street.
Recently the assets of the company were sold locally and the business exited stage right. Quietly.
I was the fourth generation of the Roy family to guide the company, and over the 27 years of my tenure, I learned by doing each and every job from cleaning the oil pit to running the company. We enjoyed our greatest growth from the ’70s right on through the ’90s under the visionary leadership of my father, and the key to that growth and our astounding success was and is our dedicated employees and loyal customers. I can recall nearly a half dozen young men coming to work as technicians fresh out of military service and never working anywhere else. Families too numerous to mention entrusted us with their transportation needs and honored us with their friendship through two World Wars, the Great Depression, Korea, Vietnam, Afghanistan, Iraq and of course, through many great times too.
Looking back, I cannot but feel that had I made better decisions and better choices, the company would yet be thriving and ever advancing toward our ultimate goal of 100 years in business. So close. So far.
On behalf of my great-grandfather, J.L. Roy; my grandfather, C.B. “Beans” Roy; and my father, George M. Roy, I recognize and sincerely thank each and every employee for your dedicated service and extend our sincere thanks to our legion of loyal customers for your support and friendship over four generations.