Jack Pohanka — a pioneer in dual franchising who coined the term “megadealer” and a former NADA president — died Sunday. He was 92.
He was chairman of the Pohanka Automotive Group, primarily serving the Washington, D.C., area. The family business, founded in 1919, is one of the nation’s oldest dealership groups. Pohanka became its dealer principal in 1958 after the death of his father, Frank.
Today, the group employs about 1,600 people across 17 new-vehicle stores and one nonfranchised store in Maryland, Virginia, Delaware and Texas.
“He loved the car business, loved the car dealers,” Pohanka’s son Geoffrey, president of the dealership group, told Automotive News. “He was happy to give back to the industry that he cared so much about.”
Pohanka, who was named an Automotive News Visionary Dealer in 2009, said he was the first U.S. auto dealer to sell both foreign and domestic vehicles.
“In those days, you were either a foreign or domestic dealer. I dualed Fiat with [Oldsmobile]….