December 09, 2023

One car dealer to drive another

Creston’s Stalker Chevrolet and M&M Motors were both looking into the futures of their respective businesses.

They each only had to look down the street for the answer as they are in view of each other on South Sumner Avenue. Earlier this week, Stalker purchased M&M.

“Last August Jack called us and we started talking,” said T.J. Stalker, stating how Jack Davis, owner of M&M, was ready to retire. “But we have talked about the future and what could happen,” he said about prior conversations.

T.J. and brother Todd have owned their car dealership since 2004. The Stalkers purchased the dealership from Bill Cornick, who also retired. The Creston High graduates both had car sales experience as T.J. worked in Des Moines and Todd was in Cedar Rapids.

Acquiring M&M Motors brands and inventory enhances what the Stalker brothers have done. M&M is a dual brand dealership with Buick and GMC, both General Motors products, in addition to Chrysler, Dodge, Jeep and Ram, which are under the Stellantis name, based in the Netherlands. The Buick and GM from M&M will be moved to Stalker and M&M will only have Chrysler, Dodge, Jeep and Ram models.

Stalker said the plan is to keep both facilities and all existing staff. Stalker said all existing employees at both locations will be retained and wants to hire additional mechanics. Over the next days, weeks and months customers will see the evolution of the purchase.

“The signs you can see from the street, those will be changed in the near future,” Stalker said.

Stalker also said he and others are in discussion for some remodeling of the M&M Motors building. Phone numbers will remain the same at each location.

“One thing that will change is how we answer the phone at M&M,” Stalker said with a laugh.

The Stalker Chevrolet building goes back to 1953 when it was Kerr-Cochran. Cornick started in sales there in 1959. Cornick bought the business with Larry Mark in 1975. Cornick took sole ownership in 1990.

Inventory for many car manufacturers has been limited for more than a year because of the availability of computer chips used in vehicles. The COVID pandemic, demand from other industries using computer chips and chip-factory problems severely reduced numbers.

“We are slowly getting better, but still not at where we want it,” Stalker said about inventory.

As for the future of selling cars in Creston and Southwest Iowa, Stalker said he expects gasoline-powered vehicles to dominate sales. As more vehicle manufacturers offer battery-powered cars, he does not see a strong interest, or infrastructure, in Southwest Iowa as public charging stations are rare. Electric car owners do have the option of having charging stations installed in their home.

Cadillac, the luxury line of vehicles for General Motors, will be the brand’s first to go all-electric. General Motors officials have said a plan is to have majority of their products be electric by 2035.

John Van Nostrand


An Iowa native, John's newspaper career has mostly been in small-town weeklies from the Rocky Mountains to the Mississippi River. He first stint in Creston was from 2002 to 2005.