Santa Fe News

ARTICLE

Date ArticleType
4/25/2016 General
Local Entrepreneur Profile - Marc Brandt

The Santa Fe Chamber of Commerce presents Local Entrepreneur Profiles, a monthly series highlighting some of Santa Fe’s most successful businesspeople. Writer Andrew Koss is a creative writing student at Santa Fe University of Art and Design and is a former editor for the 2014-2015 Glyph literary journal. Local Entrepreneur Profiles will be published in the Business Advocate newsletter, ENews updates and online at santafechamber.com
Local Entrepreneur Profile – Marc Brandt
Written by Andrew Koss


“There’s a distinct advantage to having a family-owned business in Santa Fe for 50 years,” says Marc Brandt, sitting in the showroom of Capitol Ford. “Santa Fe is a very people-to-people community. We’re a small town at heart.”
The Brandt name has been synonymous with Capitol Ford since the family moved from El Paso to Santa Fe in 1965. Brandt’s father, Marcel “Marc” Brandt, purchased Sanco Ford, rebranding the company to reflect its presence in the Capitol City. Marc says his father ran the business by The Golden Rule. “The Golden Rule says to treat others as you would like to be treated yourself. If we have a culture of The Golden Rule here at our company, we’ll have success.”
As a teenager, Marc worked at the dealership, pulling weeds, washing vehicles, stocking cars, and delivering parts. After attending college at New Mexico State University, he returned to Santa Fe in 1983 to work for his dad. At the time, Santa Fe auto sales were undergoing a big change. Marc’s father worked with the owners of several local car dealerships to build the Santa Fe Auto Park on the edge of town. “People thought that these businessmen were crazy,” Marc says. “There was very little development out here.” Capitol Ford joined Santa Fe Motor Company, Pontiac, and Honda Subaru in developing the auto park, having outgrown their respective facilities downtown.
Marc likens car sales with professional basketball. “You want to win,” he says. “We want to be a good car dealer and outsell the other guys.” This is not to say that there haven’t been challenges. “In 2007, things got really hard in a hurry. Not just for the automobile business, but for the entire economy.” Nevertheless, Capitol Ford enjoys continued success.
 Working at Capitol Ford has become something of a Brandt family tradition. “I became General Manager in 1986. My dad died in 1993, so I got to work with my dad for a number of years.” Marc’s son, Zach, joined the company nine years ago and serves as the Service Department Director. “When Zach came into the world, I was in the car business. He was just fascinated by it and around it all the time. It really is a family business.”
On occasion, one of the mechanics that worked at the dealership when Marc was a child, will come into Capitol Ford to buy a car or truck. “As I look back and think about all the different workers…all the wonderful customers that we’ve developed, those are the things that we take for granted. But those are the things that make you feel the best.”

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