WALLA WALLA — After three decades in the car business, Scott Abajian decided it was time to pursue something new.
He and partner Gary Hanson announced Thursday the sale of Abajian Toyota-Scion in Walla Walla to McCurley Integrity Dealerships of the Tri-Cities.
“I love the car business and Toyota is a great dealership to have. But I want to spend more time with my wife, play golf more than two days a year, and find some new adventures,” Abajian told the Herald.
Some of those adventures might include dabbling in technology, though he wasn’t specific.
“I do love technology and see myself doing something fun in that area,” he said.
The Abajian family has been in the car business in Walla Walla since 1949 when his dad John became a partner in the Teague Ford dealership, Abajian said.
“My dad retired in 1969 and my brother Jim took over the Ford dealership in 1974,” he said. “I was a court reporter in San Diego when my brother talked me into coming home and opening a Toyota dealership with him in 1984. Then my brother retired in 2000 and my partner and I took over.”
Abajian’s last day of business will be Jan. 31. Three days later, McCurley Integrity Toyota of Walla Walla will open in the same location at 606 N. Wilbur Ave.
Peter Orlich will be the new general manager and Mason McCurley will be president at the Walla Walla dealership, said Mason McCurley, president and dealer principal of McCurley.
McCurley Integrity Dealerships include Chevrolet, Mazda, Honda, Subaru, Cadillac, Mercedes-Benz, Sprinter and commercial Isuzu trucks. It draws customers from Oregon, Walla Walla and throughout Southeast Washington.
“We are pleased that our long-term commitment to customers and community proved in the end to be a good fit with the Abajian philosophy,” McCurley said. “And, we’re excited to become a part of the Walla Walla community with its rich heritage and culture.”
During the next six months, the McCurley dealership expects to hire more staff for the new dealership, as well as add new and used car and truck inventory, said the release.
Scott Abajian said it will be a sad day when he leaves the car business behind but believes the community of Walla Walla will be in good hands with McCurley.
-- Dori O’Neal: 582-1514; email@example.com; Twitter: @dorioneal