is an American Success Story.
My father, Leon Siler, was always obsessed with owning his own business where he could control his own destiny and hopefully hand it down through his family. Although he had experienced much success as regional manager in Carling Brewing Company and as comptroller in the Winston Salem based E. G. Forrest Company, a local food service distributor, he was always looking for opportunities to start his own company.
During the March of 1982 Leon agreed to become a sub-distributor for Wynn Oil Company in Guilford County, NC. Although his marketing and sales experience was extensive, he knew little about automotive service and sales growth was slow. He mentioned the opportunity to me several times—I had heard of Wynn’s through my love of drag racing so in October I agreed to partner with him in this venture.
In the spring of 1983 we acquired Forsyth, Stokes, and Surry Counties and worked relentlessly to develop our new territory. By the end of 1983 we were flat broke and exhausted…..so we met to discuss our future plans. We knew we had a quality product, gave great service, and charged a fair price for our products so we redoubled our efforts in 1984 and turned a corner. From that point on we figured out our marketing strategy and enjoyed at least a 20% growth rate every year through 1989.
Business continued to expand with me seeing our customers on the front end of the sales calls and my father delivering back product to seal the relationship. We made a really great team and business was a real joy while I got married and started my family. Leon developed congestive heart failure in the spring of 1993. As his health deteriorated I agreed to purchase GO Limited at the end of 1993. I continued to maintain and expand our customer base until Leon’s sudden passing in October 1995.
I hired delivery personnel to assume my father’s delivery duties and functioned like that until the spring of 1998. I was offered an opportunity to become the first NC Distributor for Petro Chemical Products—a division of J.M. Family from Florida who also marketed the Southeast Toyota chemical division for Toyota dealerships.
Leaving Wynn’s was a real challenge as I had become the #4 Wynnsman in the country. In July of 1998 I made the transition to Petro Chemical and within 6 months I had converted 95% of my customers to the new product line. This was the best business decision I had ever made and was determined to offer the best products available to my customers. I quickly added the International Lubricants “Lubegard” line of transmission products and acquired the Penray line of coolant products to round out my offerings.
Business continued to expand with the new product lines and in 2003 we moved into an industrial park location that featured an office, warehousing, and a training center for our customers. My wife Sheila had become my office manager when she wasn’t juggling kids and church activities and I hired a salesman in 2005 to open new business. 2007 was our most profitable year in business—market conditions were excellent and we had settled into an efficient marketing strategy that maximized revenue. The market crash of 2008 changed the marketplace once again. When our lease was up in ’09 we built a free standing office at my residence and rented a remote warehouse to store product…..that strategy saved us $500 a month and positioned us to weather the New Economy.
I had surgery in 2009 to repair a back injury suffered on The Virginia Creeper bike trail. Although I am not as frisky as I once was my delivery personnel, warehouse children, and Sheila have kept us in business and we have continued to expand our offerings with the addition of Life Automotives very excellent transmission products. We have continued to adjust our marketing strategy to accommodate the ever changing marketplace and are in a growth pattern once again.
Although many automotive service outlets seem to be doing more repairs than maintenance right now I am convinced that consumers want to preserve their automotive investment and don’t want to spend their precious dollars on needless major repairs. Benjamin Franklin said “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure” and GO Limited has always sold products to extend the life of your car and reduce your transportation costs.
I feel good about what we sell because I have always used our formulas in what I own and you should too. Thank You for your support.
Leon & Ivan