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Grand Rapids to become home of new Chinese auto distributorship?


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Peter Cook, who owned the now dissolved Mazda Great Lakes Distributorship, has been approached several times recently by Changfeng Motors of China to help it open up dealerships in the United States, according to WOODTV8.

Mazda Great Lakes had dealerships throughout West Michigan and 5 other states.

Changfeng News

Changfeng Website

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If anyone could make this happen in West Michigan, it would be Peter Cook, even at age 94. He and Bob Hooker did it twice before, first doing a deal with the Germans to import VW/Porsche/Audi and then after that deal ended in the mid 1970s, they signed a deal with the Japanese to distribute Mazdas in the Midwest just before its RX-7 sports car became a sensation. They sold when Ford, a major shareholder in Mazda, wanted to cut out the middleman. It was brilliant timing and they made a fortune, which they've been pretty generous about giving back to the community.

I don't recall either of the earlier distributors employing huge numbers of people, but it certainly would put some people to work. And it couldn't hurt to have a West Michigan company tied to China in such a high profile way.

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