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Longtime family-owned dealership being sold

The owners of Hayden Honda Powersports, a dealership located in Kendallville, Indiana, announced it has sold its dealership after 53 years of ownership. The following is a release from the outgoing owners.

Our history begins back in the 1920s, in the building where Clyde Hayden, Kurt’s grandfather, started Hayden Welding after trying his hand at homesteading in North Dakota. 

Clyde’s son Russell returned from WWII and bought the business in 1948 at the age of 21. It cost him $8500. He changed the name to Hayden and Son Welding. For nearly 20 years, he welded, repaired radiators, and worked on lawnmowers at that location.

In the late ‘50s, Russell began selling and servicing chainsaws.

In 1965, Russell sold his first Honda, a CT90, to Karl Sprandel. And so Hayden Honda was born.

Mary Frances, Russell’s wife, began working in parts and keeping the books. And Kurt, a sixth grader at the time, began sweeping floors and cleaning up. (This proves his employee records, which list his date of employment as “Birth,” incorrect.)

Newly married Deb Hayden began work in 1978 as well.

After an extended trip to Germany and Egypt, Kurt decided to invest his life in the family business and took the reins in 1980. That same year, Kurt’s first son, Nick, was born. There has rarely been a day since without his kids (or grandkids) running around the business. In fact, all his kids have worked for the business at some point.

Kurt’s brother-in-law, Mike Longardner, started in 1981, at the age of 20. Later, Ralph Longardner joined as a technician, then became our service manager. Other family members, Holly and Dallas Fike (Deb’s sister and brother in law) joined the team as well in the sales and finance department for many years. These four represent another part of the family business. A new generation of family joined as each of the Hayden kids took jobs at the shop. Some short lived and others continuing even now. Family just kept getting involved as Kurty’s son-in-law, Austin, joined the business as manager of Hayden Rental & Power Equipment.

In 2009, the economic downturn hit the industry hard, cutting motorcycle sales in the US in half. Hayden Honda weathered the lean years, the close-knit family of employees working together through those rough times. 

Our commitment to family, our employees and our customers has been a constant at Hayden Honda and we hope that will continue as we announce a big change happening here. On any given day, a customer might see any number of Kurt’s seven grandchildren running around the showroom and that is likely to be a noticeable change in the near future.

Hayden Honda has always been a family-run business but it became evident that, though the Hayden children have been highly involved in the daily operations of the business, they would not be taking over. This brought about the search for new ownership as Kurt and Deb move towards retirement and wanting to spend more time with their family (outside of the workplace).

As we transition in the next month to new ownership you will certainly see Kurt around. He’s planning to work in the business for years to come. It is our desire that the customers and employees we love so much see a smooth transition and a continuation of the customer-centric legacy that has so long been a part of Hayden Honda.

This transition, of course, brings us sadness as Hayden Honda is knit into the fabric of our lives and that of our family’s life, but we also know that God is in control of all things. We are happy to see the legacy started by Clyde and Russell continue to serve the customers that we love and have worked so hard to serve.

It’s been a great ride, one we wouldn’t have wanted to go on without you. We can never thank you enough for the support you’ve given our family over the years. We wish you and Hayden Honda continued success and many miles on the open road.

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