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5808 Lee Hwy Chattanooga, TN 37421 4238920661
Address: 5808 Lee Hwy, Chattanooga, TN 37421
Sales: | Service: (423) 390-0754
Parts: (423) 777-5155

Bob McKamey - Capital Toyota's Founder

Bob McKamey was so captivated by the sound of a Toyota Corolla’s door shutting that he founded the first Toyota dealership in Tennessee in 1966. The franchise cost him $1,875, and the 21 Toyotas he purchased cost $1,485 each. At first, customers, especially war veterans, were hesitant to invest in Japanese-made cars that differed wildly from autos from Detroit. But, the quality of the vehicles changed minds.

The success of Capital Toyota, which sustains as the only Toyota dealership in Chattanooga, wasn’t just due to the incredible lineup of new and used cars it sold. The dedicated staff, under the inspired leadership of McKamey, propelled Capital Toyota to earn the respect of its customers and hit multiple milestones. These milestones included being the first Toyota dealership to sell 100 Toyota vehicles in one month across 14 mid-America states and the first Toyota dealer to sell 100 trucks to the U.S. government.

McKamey stretched his leadership skills as founding director of the Toyota Dealer Advertising Board, and in organizations including the Toyota National Council, Toyota Dealer Council, the Cincinnati Regional Dealer Advisory Board, the Chattanooga Automobile Dealers Association and the American International Automobile Dealers Association. He was also instrumental in the creation of the Toyota Finance Company, which is now the Toyota Motor Credit Company.

Through every success, milestone, and expansion, McKamey had the support of his team. These employees were treated like family, and so became a family. Some started with McKamey on day one and worked with him for more than 20 years.

In addition to McKamey’s dedication to his staff, growing Capital Toyota, and improving trade negotiations with Japan, he was also dedicated to his community. He and his family founded the McKamey Animal Center, which provides a compassionate shelter for animals, medical services for pets and educational programs for the community. He was also the largest private donor in Tennessee to the March of Dimes as well as supported the American Cancer Society and Toys for Tots.

Throughout his career and through his philanthropic work, Bob McKamey made an indelible mark on the world that will live on forever.

--Robert (Bob) Gerald McKamey - a son of Chattanooga - died on January 8, 2019.

Accomplishments & Accolades

  • First Toyota dealer in Tennessee and still Chattanooga’s ONLY Toyota Dealer.
  • First Toyota dealer in 14 Mid-America states to sell 100 Toyota vehicles in one month.
  • First Toyota dealer in 14 Mid-America states to sell 100 Toyota vehicles in one month.
  • He was a founding director of the Toyota Dealer Advertising Board, and he served as its president for 26 years.
  • First Toyota dealer to represent the 14 Mid-America states on the Toyota National Council.
  • First Toyota dealer to represent Toyota on the Board of Directors of the American International Automobile Dealers Association (AIADA).
  • First dealer to represent either a Japanese or Asiatic manufacturer on the board of AIADA.
  • He was instrumental in initiating and structuring the Cincinnati TDA, the oldest in the country, and the one that has served as a model for all other TDAs. Today the Cincinnati TDA has a combined budget of more than $10 million.
Bob McKamey
Bob McKamey
  • He served on the Cincinnati Regional Dealer Advisory Board for 26 years, and he served as the Chairman for nine, two-year terms.
  • He served as a Toyota Director on the Board of AIADA longer than any dealer in history. He served as Chairman for two years for this valuable organization that represents all import makes in the entire United States.
  • He has been very active on the Toyota Dealer Council, serving in leadership roles longer than any other dealer. Bob holds the distinction of being the only Toyota dealer who has served as the National Chairman of this organization for four terms.
  • He was an active member of the Chattanooga Automobile Dealers Association and the Tennessee Automobile Dealers Association.
  • In 1985, Bob partnered with Steve Gates in Kentucky and Indiana Automobile Franchises.
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