Written by The Business Journal Staff
Jim, Randy and Hilary Haron are big believers in Downtown Fresno.
The second- and third-generation owners of Haron Jaguar and Land Rover, one of the finalists for this year’s California Family Business Award, the Haron family has been a mainstay of the Downtown Fresno business scene for more than 70 years.
Recently, the Harons upped their dealership’s profile — and their support of Fresno’s ongoing downtown comeback —when they bankrolled a series of flashy new commercials praising city leaders and their revitalization efforts.
Even their competitors in the auto industry couldn’t help but rave about the commercials. “I’ve got to say that’s a great spot,” South Valley car dealer Rick Hoffman wrote on Haron’s Facebook page.
Fresno Mayor Ashley Swearengin is a big fan of the commercials too.
”I think they’re fantastic,” the mayor said. “There’s an emerging brand for Downtown Fresno that’s based on a turnaround story that people around the country are starting to recognize. Haron Motors has tapped into that buzz and captured the excitement that’s building, not just downtown but all around Fresno.”
John Ostlund at The Fulton Group produced Haron’s slick Fresno-centric spots. “This is a family that really believes in Fresno — both in its history and its potential,” Ostlund said.
In 1945, Charles Haron, Randy and Hilary’s grandfather, founded the car dealership, located at 2222 Ventura Ave. At a time when a tune-up cost 15 cents, Charles Haron decided he could make more money selling cars than fixing them.
Today, Charles’ son Jim continues to manage the business together with his daughter Hilary and nephew Randy.
“Randy is the general manager and in charge of sales,” said Hilary. “I’m the business manager and take care of the back end of the dealership.”
“And my Dad,” Hilary added, “functions sort of as the ‘final say’ backstop. Essentially, he’s the big Kahuna.”
Today, Haron is one of the big Kahunas of U.S. luxury car market, the No. 1 Jaguar dealership per capita in the nation, an achievement that enables Randy to sit as the youngest member on Jaguar’s board of directors.
Jaguar and Land Rover are owned by Tata Motors, a successful Indian conglomerate that purchased the two luxury auto brands from Ford in 2008. Today the brands are among the hottest luxury cars on the market.
“Having Tata as a parent company is really what’s blossomed the Jaguar and Land Rover brands,” Randy said.
Over the years, Haron has advertised regularly on television and in print, with Randy appearing in many of the spots himself.
“We’ve done a lot of different commercials,” he said. “But this series featuring downtown has been our most popular one by far. People come into the dealership all the time and want to talk about it.”
Randy said he and Ostlund created the series of five commercials “because we wanted to show our support for Fresno. People really care here. So we’re spending money to show how much we care about our city too.”
Haron Jaguar and Land Rover has a very high number of repeat customers, in part because the Harons believe in treating customers like family — every one gets their salesperson’s personal cell phone number.
Documenting his experience in a recent review on the website Yelp, one customer said he drove to Fresno from the Bay Area to check out an F-Type Jaguar at the Haron dealership.
“I ended up leaving with it due to the superior pricing, pristine quality and outstanding customer service provided by the dealer,” he wrote. “Haron really went the extra mile to satisfy my needs.”
George Lurie | Reporter can be reached at:
490-3464 or e-mail email@example.com