(From January 27, 2012 Colorado Springs Gazette Telegraph by Bob Stephens)
Just honesty, a fair price and good service – that’s what customers have learned to expect from Trinity Motors, Inc.
Mike Knupp, 50, joyfully carries on the tradition started by his father, Phil, back in 1978. Mike had a hand in the business from the beginning, and took over in 1996 when his dad retired to Buena Vista. Mike bought the company in 2000 and it’s still prospering in its 20th year at 2226 E. Platte Ave., at the intersection with Prairie Rd., four blocks east of Union Blvd.
There’s a reason Trinity Motors is still going strong: Mike Knupp.
Just ask Cody Morton, who says his family has purchased “12 or 13 cars from Mike” down through the years.
“Especially when you’re buying a used car, you really want honesty,” said Morton, a Colorado Springs firefighter. “Mike’s going to be honest. That’s his reputation around town, and it’s deserved.
“It seems some dealers try to hide some things and you find out about it a year later. You’re never going to get that with Mike.”
What customers do find is a wide variety of vehicles on the lot.
“We try to have a little bit of everything,” Mike Knupp said. “It’s usually newer models but we’ll have something from the late 90s up to 2010 or so.”
Trinity Motors has always had enough to satisfy John Murray, who has known Mike for more than two decades, dating back to when both were racing motocross.
“I’ve bought 10 to 12 vehicles from Mike and I always go to him first,” Murray said. “You never have to haggle with him and it’s always a fair price. I used to check around a bit, but after buying so many from Mike, I just go to him if he has what I want. We bought a GMC Denali from him for my wife about nine months ago.”
Why the loyalty?
“Because he’s a straight shooter,” Murray said. “He’s to the point. And he likes to get the job done right the first time. You always know what you’ll get with Mike. And if there’s a problem, he’ll take care of it.”
Knupp knows that reputation means everything in the used-car business.
“I still have customers that come in who knew me when I was a kid,” Knupp said. “I think that’s probably unique to some car dealers in town. There are a lot of great car lots in town, but this town has gotten so much bigger. I think I try a little harder to satisfy the customer and keep them happy.
“I know a lot of people dread buying a used car or a new car. They don’t look forward to the experience. I try to make sure every car is fixed completely, with no issues. I try to go over and above and take care of the customer. We try to make it as easy and painless as possible.”
Knupp’s highly qualified and friendly staff includes Wayne Lear and Sherri Brown, the office manager and paperwork expert.
“We’re not here to get rich and famous, just to continue selling nice, clean used cars at a good price and stay in business,” Knupp said.
He remodeled the previous building on the lot and added a second floor for offices. Another change for Trinity Motors is that cars on the lot are now listed on autotrader.com and Craig’s List. Visit the company’s website at trinitymotorscs.com or call them at 719-630-7220.
“I got my first car from Mike when I was in high school,” Morton said. “As I’ve gotten older and had more money, I’ve been able to upgrade. I always come to Mike. My wife and I have probably bought five or six from him. They’ve all been great cars. It seems like he only buys really clean cars that are in good shape.”
Morton hasn’t hesitated to recommend Trinity Motors to other firefighters.
“They’ve purchased multiple cars from Mike,” Morton said. “He makes everyone feel comfortable. He’s a great down-to-earth guy. My wife even feels comfortable going down there by herself. It’s a real no-pressure situation.”
Knupp, who was a swimmer at Doherty High – Lear was his coach – raced professionally on the motocross circuit for several seasons, retiring in 1984 to join Trinity Motors full-time.
He figures “70 to 75 percent” of Trinity Motors sales are from referrals or repeat customers. But he also sold a Mercedes to a man in New Hampshire last month and shipped it there, and a Nissan to a woman in Kansas.
“A lot has changed with the Internet, so you can find a customer anywhere,” Knupp said. “Regardless of who it is, we try to treat them all the same.”
“That’s what is so cool,” Murray said. “I hear Mike dealing with other customers and it’s the same way he is with me. So he doesn’t just treat me well because I’m a long-time friend. That’s the way he is with everyone. That’s why he’s still doing good business.”
Body Style: 2 Door Convertible
1991 Mercedes-Benz 500SL Roadster Convertible