Joseph Herman, COO of dealership group Kuni Automotive and a 40-year veteran of the car retailing market, died the morning of Oct. 29 after a year-long battle with pancreatic cancer, the company said today.
He was 72.
Herman began his automotive career in the 1960s selling vehicles at Shrewsbury Volkswagen in New Jersey while serving as a 2nd lieutenant in the United States Army Reserve.
Over the following decades, he worked at World-Wide Volkswagen Corp., Porsche Audi Eastern, Porsche Audi Manhattan and Herman + Miller Porsche Audi.
In the early 1990s, he acted as the COO for EMCO/United Auto Group, which later on ended up being the Penske Automotive Group Inc. He then spent almost 8 years as CEO of the Planet-Potamkin Automotive Group prior to joining Group 1 Automotive Inc. as its senior vice president of operations.
In 2010, Herman joined the Kuni Automotive Group as its COO. He helped double the groups annual profits from under $500 million to $1.05 billion in 2013. In August of this year, the business raised him to executive vice president.
Kuni Automotive, of Vancouver, Wash., is No. 71 on the Automotive News list of the top 125 car dealership groups based in the US, with new-vehicle retail sales of 11,422 in 2013.
Herman was born upon June 9, 1942, in Pittsburgh, Pa. He went to the American School in Germany and, following his college graduation from Red Bank Catholic High School in Red Bank, NJ, studied at Duquesne University and Monmouth College.
In a statement, the Herman household requested that, in lieu of flowers, donations be made to the Oregon Health amp; Science Universitys Knight Cancer Institute.
You can reach James B. Treece at email@example.com.