Sullivan-Parkhill Automotive

2 BUSINESS VIEW MAGAZINE VOLUME 9, ISSUE 6 SULLIVAN - PARKH A U T O M O T I Changing with the Times B ack in 1923, Theodore Dennis Parkhill (affectionately known as T.D.) opened a car dealership in Champaign, Illinois, along with his four sons. It quickly became a going concern and now, nearly a century later, the team at Sullivan-Parkhill Automotive continues the legacy of serving their customers with pride. “He was a real entrepreneur,” says TD’s great- grandson and current President, David Parkhill. “I think he’d be amazed at the complexity of how we sell automobiles, and the day-to-day part of the business. My family got into the business in 1923 and my partner’s family got into it in 1932. And then we merged and became Sullivan- Parkhill in 1998.” Today, Sullivan-Parkhill has two locations, offering Cadillac, Chevrolet, Mercedes-Benz, Volvo, and Sprinter vans, along with an extensive inventory of pre-owned vehicles. The business is still family owned and operated, serving the greater Champaign-Urbana community. Adapting to the times seems to be the name of the game these days. And, of course, there’s been a great deal to adapt to over the past few years. “It’s been challenging,” Parkhill admits. “But at the same time, we’ve seen some good sales numbers and some good profitability for new car dealers in the last year. COVID created a lot of challenges for us from a personnel standpoint. But it also made us become smarter at what we do. We’ve been able to overcome many of those challenges and still prosper.” General Sales Manager, Andrew Taylor, agrees, noting, “There were a lot of challenges, a lot of roadblocks. First, it was the GM strike that limited parts in the fall of 2019. That slowed down the ability to fix vehicles. That rolled right into COVID. There’s been the labor issue. There’s been the supply chain issue. And we’re still dealing with the semiconductor issue. It really showed us how quickly we can adapt to situations in order to overcome that and continue to maintain a level of profitability. That