ASHEBORO — A dream that began as a high school boy working at a service station cleaning cars has transformed into a family legacy for the Asheboro community and beyond. Donald and his son, Toby Strider, have long been patrons of the area and have plans to continue their legacy by allowing new ownership of the Strider-Buick-GMC-Subaru dealership and the expansion of their used car dealership Home Plate Motors.
“The dream of having a new car dealership just evolved,” Toby said. “He [Donald] went from washing cars to buying and selling a few used cars, to having his own lot.”
In 2001, Toby and his father bought Donald’s partner out of Strider-Buick-GMC-Subaru, making the dealership their own family business. Toby was twelve years old when he began working at the dealership, starting with washing cars.
“The first time I sold cars was the summer between my sophomore and junior year of college,” Toby said. “I was nervous as could be, but my dad said, “Son, it’s not that hard. If there’s a problem with a car, if there’s a dent, scratch, stain, or whatever, show that to the customer first. Don’t try to hide anything.”
A month after Toby graduated from college, he began handling the parts and services aspects while his father handled sales.
“A smile goes a long way; listening and genuinely caring about their [customers’] concerns instantly tends to build trust,” Toby said. “I had to learn to work with the public at sixteen years old, and that’s a valuable education that you can’t get in a classroom.”
Strider-Buick-GMC-Subaru has long held its reputation of having trustworthy staff, some of whom have been working with the company for over 25 years.
“The day we sold, we had four employees that had been with us since the day Dad bought the store. We also had a couple of other employees who had been with us, left for a few years, and then came back,” Toby said.
Andy Perdue began working for Donald when he was in high school before Donald bought Strider-Buick-GMC-Subaru.
“My dad tells a story about Andy when he came into Dad’s used car lot when he was a junior in high school,” Toby reminisced. “My dad said, ‘Andy, where are you going to college?’ Andy said, ‘I ain’t; I’m coming to work for you.’”
Toby has plans to continue providing for his community through his used car sales and even through coaching local high school and middle school sports teams. He believes in shopping locally and supporting businesses in the area.
“Times have changed. We sell more cars today out of town and out of state than we ever have just due to the internet,” Toby said. “But still, by and large, our business comes from Asheboro and the surrounding areas. That’s our community, that’s who supports us, that’s who we want to support and give back to, and I think we can continue to do that here at Home Plate.”
The used car lot has been in the Strider family since 1970. Toby’s plan is to expand Home Plate Motors from what was once a business with 20 to 30 vehicles to one with 50 to 60. Toby plans to provide bank financing and extended warranties on the lot; their goal is to offer everything a new car dealership would offer aside from new cars.
“Anybody that wants a used car, we want to be able to provide an option for them,” Toby said. “Whether it’s on the lot financing or a year-old used car with 10,000 miles.”