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Mike and Missy Smetzer opened their independent dealership, Central Oregon Motors LLC, with a niche market in unusual and eye-catching vehicles

RAMONA MCCALLISTER - Mike and Missy Smetzer with their daughter, Lilly. In the background is their showroom, displaying a number of beauties on their floor, including a 2010 Shelby GT500, a 2016 Audi A6, a 2010 Camaro SS, a 2014 Jeep Cherokee, a 2003 Mitsabishi EVO and a 2010 Chevy Avalon.

Mike and Missy Smetzer have recently opened an auto dealership next to Rimrock Gallery in Prineville.

Their new business, which began in Bend, is called Central Oregon Motors, LLC, with a brand of "Driven with Passion, Powered by Integrity." They are an independent dealership, with a niche market in unusual and eye-catching vehicles. Currently, they have some beauties on their floor, including a 2010 Shelby GT500, a 2016 Audi A6, a 2010 Camaro SS, 2014 Jeep Cherokee, a 2003 Mitsabishi EVO, and a 2010 Chevy Avalon.

Mike is a United States Military veteran, with 10 years in active duty.

"After multiple deployments to Iraq and Afghanistan, and just the way the military was going, we decided that we wanted to separate from the military. So, we moved to Central Oregon, and Missy's parents were already here. We wanted to just start over—as I was so used to being gone for training and deployed, I wanted to kind of slow down a little bit," explained Mike.

Missy added that Mike was also injured during deployment and a Purple Heart Veteran. They also have a young daughter and wanted more family time together.

After some time trying different jobs, Mike got into property management. He took a job in this vocation for several years in Portland, and eventually the family moved back to Central Oregon, where he became a regional portfolio management manager for an affordable housing property management company in Bend called Epic Property Management.

"I have always liked to help people and give back," he said.

As the position was salaried and required Mike to be on call, it began to take late hours and long days. The couple have always been passionate about cars and decided to start a car dealership. Although it started out small while they were living in Bend, they were soon able to leave his day job and move into the Prineville location.

"Now we just sell cars locally."

He indicated that 70% of the car sales are local, and they also do online marketing around the country. He likes to explain his car dealership as something that they are passionate about.

"We are passionate about what we do, we love cars, we love pretty much anything that has wheels. It is what we have been around all our lives, and it is something we like to do."

He added that everyone needs a regular car, but what he is passionate about is 'that eye catcher."

Missy elaborated that "we are a dealership, but we are car people."

She added that they want to talk to people about the car, and she said it is fun to share with their customers.

"It's fun—it is like going to the car show every day, for us."

Mike added that since they are car enthusiasts, they are not there to sell anyone crazy warranties or Sirius XM, but they want to connect people and vehicles together.

"A lot of our clients come in and they are like, "I have been looking for one of those for so long." We look really hard to get people into these vehicles that they are passionate about. In Central Oregon, a lot of people like being in the outdoors."

Mike noted that they sell a little bit of everything—especially vehicles that are eye catching. They also sell regular cars, and they do some consignments, as well. What they have is what is in their showroom.

Central Oregon Motors, LLC was created by Mike and Missy, and Missy pointed out that many years ago, there was a Central Oregon Business by this name, so they added the LLC.

"It is our own brandying, and we brought it from nothing to what it is here."

Missy indicated that they contacted the old company, and were given permission to use the name, along with the "LLC."

Mike and Missy have lived in Prineville for two years. They like to give back to their community. They were fortunate enough to do a fundraiser with some other businesses and gave the proceeds towards a vehicle for an autistic young man.

"We were able to give an autistic kid his first vehicle, and he loves automotive photography."

They drove up to Seattle, Washington, and found the car, and the group dedicated it to the young man in a ceremony approximately six months ago. The family didn't have the means for the car or insurance, so the group even paid the first year's insurance.

"We are still a brand-new business, and we are doing the best that we can to stay afloat, and just like everyone else is in the economy, but any chance we get, we give back to community."

Sidebar

Central Oregon Motors, LLC

Owners: Mike and Missy Smetzer

405 NW 3rd St., STE B

Contact: 541-639-9933

By appointment only at this time


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