A Kenyan Entrepreneur in Atlanta, Georgia Opens a New Car Dealership
David Karangu was born at Grady Hospital in 1967, but grew up in Kenya. He later enrolled at Morgan State University in Baltimore, MD where he studied Marketing. In 1985, he won an internship by the General Motors Corporation, where he spent his summers working at Jerry's Mazda. During this time, he developed a passion for the automobile industry. He worked in every department of the dealership and made up his mind that the automobile industry was going to be part of his future.
Upon graduating in 1987, he went to work for the Ford Motor Company in Jacksonville, FL. At Ford he spent the next eight years rising through the ranks and honing his skills while working with Ford dealerships throughout the State of Florida. He left Ford in 1995 and attended the NADA Dealer Academy. While attending the academy, he worked as a Sales Manager at a Lincoln dealership in Melbourne, Florida.
On November 1st, 1997 David opened his first dealership - Fairway Ford of Augusta in Georgia. At the tender age of 30, he was the youngest Ford Dealer in the United States. While there he achieved the following:
- Ebony Magazine 2001 Dealer of the Year
- Ford Motor Company 2005 President's Award
- Black Enterprise Top 50 Dealers in the United States
On July 1, 2005 he opened Mercedes Benz of Augusta. This was to be the crown jewel of the new empire. From the beginning, it was a success, setting new records for a Mercedes dealership and David being one of five African Americans in History to own one.
April 2nd, 2007 was yet another milestone in his automotive career. He acquired a BMW dealership in Columbia, SC and renamed it BMW of Columbia. Along with it came other franchises - Ivory VW and Ivory Subaru. Black Enterprise Magazine has ranked the Ivory Auto Group as the 26th largest minority owned Dealership in the United States with Sales over $100 million Dollars annually.
In December 2007, David sold the entire Ivory Group of dealerships to Group 1 Auto Group. He retired at the age of 40 to pursue his lifelong dream of travelling throughout the world, he also became a chef and a luxury homebuilder (www.sterlinghalltour.com).
Only July 14, 2010, he purchased the former Steve Rayman Chevrolet South and renamed it Ivory Chevrolet. Then in April 2, 2012 he purchased Sutherlin Mazda. This is yet another new beginning as he rebuilds his auto empire.
Throughout his journey, David has always believed in helping and motivating others. He has given motivational speeches to various groups throughout the US and to corporations in Kenya. He has donated funds in Kenya for HIV/Aids awareness, educational scholarships and orphanages.
July 28, 2005 was declared "David Karangu Day" by the Mayor of Augusta. In 2007, the Mayor of Augusta gave David an Honorary Key to the City. The Governor of the State of Georgia appointed him to the board of the Medical College of Georgia - the second largest hospital in the State for a three year term.
Even though i have to say I'm proud of this African-American/Kenyan (Let us be serious he is an African American born of Kenyan Parents with all the benefits that come with that), I have not really seen or read anything that suggests he has invested in Kenya to help the Kenyan people or the economy.
As it is being said now it is time for Africa so may be he can tell us what success he has had in that continent. His success does not really matter to many of us in Africa only to his nuclear family and country USA and not Kenya.
All in all kudos to his success and may it continue but please stop referring to him as a Kenyan he is an American with Kenyan roots kind like Obama except his both parents were from Kenya. I'm also sure he will not apply for Kenya citizenship like many will who have Kenyan roots.
Q. What has he done for Kenya?
I have to disagree with Mulembe. What make s us Kenyans? How long we have lived here or who we are deep down? I schooled with David in Nyeri High, where we first met. He regularly visits Kenya every year (I was with him in Nairobi in December) and has invested heavily in the Kenya real estate market and various charity groups amongst other investments. He also supports a rather large extended family here in Kenya.
However, I concede that the article did not really highlight this enough. trust me....he is a Kenyan, and I am very proud of him.