Here is a brief history of i.g. Burton & Co., in case you aren’t familiar with our story.
1908 was an important year for the Burton Family. In that year General Motors was formed to manufacture a new invention, the automobile. Fred Burton and his father, Captain Theodore Burton, decided to enter the automobile business.
Also, in that year, Fred’s son Irwin G. Burton was born. From that time there has always been a descendent of Captain Theodore and his son Fred in the automobile business on Delmarva. David Burton is the fourth generation automobile dealer and Charles and I. G. III are the fifth generation! The Burtons and the automobile have been together since the very beginning.
Over time there have been many turns and changes in the history of our company. The first cars sold were Maxwell, followed by Buick, Ford, Vim Truck, Briscoe, Chevrolet, Oldsmobile, Mercedes-Benz, BMW, Navistar, Bluebird Bus and the Chrysler line. In 1962, the National Automobile Dealers Association named Irwin G. Burton the Outstanding Dealer in the nation.
All of this has been quite an experience but our success is not just due to the effort of the Burtons but to that of so many others who, over the years, have built the company into what you see today.
How has this company endured over such a long and changing period? While many things have changed, there was not a paved road in Kent or Sussex County in 1908; Fred Burton had to sell the car and then teach the new owner how to drive, our family and our company have been dedicated to a few principles that have remained the same throughout.
* First among these is integrity, both personal and corporate. In any of our dealings with others, we must be consistent in our commitment to the highest moral standard. There is never any reason to act in ways that lack ethical soundness. Every action must be considered in this context.
* A second principal is respect, both of others and ourselves. Each person, regardless of position, is equally important and valuable. Each of us has different responsibilities, abilities and ambitions. However, in terms of fundamental worth, each of us is truly priceless. We must see in others and in ourselves, regardless of any differences, persons, of value to whom we give and from whom we ask respect.
* The third principle is customer focus. Our customers pay all of our salaries and all of our bills. Nothing is possible without the goodwill and trust of our customers. Each is of inestimable value and each is different. Our job, above all else, is to carefully observe and serve our customers. In us they must find value. Only if we put their interests ahead of our own will we prosper. Each customer, whether on the phone, in person, or a potential customer we know in the community, is the most important person in our work world.
* The fourth principal is hard work. There is not a brick, tool, a job – there is nothing at our dealership that is not the result of hard work. We enjoy our business and want you to as well. We always want to be the best at what we do and set our standards high. We know of only one way to be the best and that is through good, high quality, hard work.
* The final principle is investment. Our company deserves to profit, and those who work with us deserve fair compensation for their efforts. We, as a company, must invest some of our time and our earnings back into the business so that we may prosper in the future. All of our growth and our opportunity come from our willingness to reinvest. We will make a significant investment in our employees if they seek it and if they prove capable. Only with such investment will our company and those associated with it grow in income, skill and value to themselves, the company and the community.
This is the spirit that is important to us and the real opportunity that we represent. It is our hope that our history, a past made possible by so many people, is just a beginning.