Our History

The History of Bob Smith Family of Dealerships

1900-1950s 1960s 1970s 1980s 1990s 2000s 2010s


The Smith family got its start in the automobile business with Robert A. Smith Jr, in San Francisco, CA. Robert had about a dozen dealerships in and around the City. Robert later sells the company and moves to Southern California with his family


In Southern California, Robert partners with a gentleman named Harry Golden and opens Smith-Golden Dodge Plymouth in Glendale, CA and later Dodge-Plymouth dealership in Burbank, CA


Robert Passed away. His son Bob Smith became a partner in the business


Bob Smith buys out Harry Golden and the dealership became known as Bob Smith Dodge Plymouth


With growing interest in car leasing Bob founded one of the first independent leasing companies in Los Angeles, known as Sierra Leasing Company in Glendale, CA.


Bob's oldest son, Rob, graduated from UCLA in 1963 and soon became Sierra's general manager


Bob sells Bob Smith Dodge in May. Later that year he purchases the Volkswagen-Porsche dealership in Hollywood and put his name on it


Bob’s third son Mike graduates Loyola University and became General Manager of Bob Smith Volkswagen


Bob’s fourth son Tim graduates Santa Clara University and becomes a sales manager in the Volkswagen dealership


Audi comes to America. Bob keeps VW on the east side of Cahuenga Boulevard and builds a facility across the street for Bob Smith Porsche Audi. Bob’s second son, Pete Smith, a graduate from Santa Clara University in 1964, becomes General Manager of the Porsche Audi dealership


Bob sees a relatively unknown German car company, BMW, as having a bright future in the United States. Bob Smith is granted a BMW franchise in the west San Fernando Valley. Bob buys and remodels a closed-down hamburger restaurant on Topanga Canyon Boulevard in Canoga Park, CA. Bob Smith BMW opens October that year with Tim Smith as General Manager


The property and facilities were added to accommodate two more franchises, Fiat and Alfa Romeo, in Canoga Park, CA


Alfa Romeo franchise gave way to Lancia


The dealership returned being exclusively BMW


Pete Smith retires and moves to Sun Valley, Idaho. Mitsubishi had been added to the Hollywood lineup


Mike and Tim bought a Toyota franchise in La Crescenta, CA and close the Hollywood, CA dealership. Mike continues to operate Bob Smith Toyota with his son Peter as General Manager


BMW was outgrowing the Canoga Park facility. Tim identifies Woodland Hills-Calabasas as the area the franchise needs to be. Tim pursues a vacant parcel of land on the 101 in Calabasas, CA


Bob Smith passed away in November at the age of 87


The New state of the art facility is complete and Bob Smith BMW moves to Calabasas


MINI expands to a standalone facility down the road on Calabasas Road.


Bob Smith Family celebrates our 100-year Anniversary


Bob Smith BMW starts construction of a new state of the art building and brings MINI Cooper over to BMW


Bob Smith acquires Volvo of Thousand Oaks and moves it Calabasas, CA with Anne as the Volvo Dealer Principal. Catherine Continues as the BMW General Manager