Steve Landers Sr. Pumps Brakes Pedal, Looks Forward to Future

You may have heard that Steve Landers Sr. has sold his remaining one-third interest in Steve Landers Auto Group to Luther Auto Group of Minneapolis. Landers, 60, previously had sold two-thirds of the business, which includes Steve Landers Toyota and Steve Landers Chrysler Dodge Jeep Ram, to sons Scott and Steve Jr.

Landers Auto and Luther Auto have merged to form LL Ark Holding Co. LLC, which will operate the two Little Rock dealerships, and Scott is the owner-operator, said Landers Sr.

Landers Sr. and sons were the stars of numerous television ads for the auto business.

He sold his share because it was “just time,” Landers said last week. He’s taking three weeks off and will return to his office around mid-July to work at “buying and operating auto groups around the country, which I’ve done on and off for about 30 years.”

Landers stepped down as president of RLJ-McLarty-Landers Auto Holdings LLC and sold most of his stock to the other partners in the Little Rock auto conglomerate a couple of years ago. At the time, Landers cited health reasons that included knee surgery.

“I’ll still be consulting and handle my customers at the Steve Landers Auto Group, so I will still be involved with that,” he told Whispers. He’ll probably work two or three days a week, he said.

Landers, who has been in the auto business 43 years, remains a partner with Thomas F. “Mack” McLarty and his son Mark in the McLarty family’s auto operations in Brazil.

Landers said he’s also still working with controversial Yankees baseball star Alex Rodriguez about potential business partnerships, though he declined to be specific.

Steve Landers Jr. has “got his own stuff,” his father said. That includes Landers Auto in Benton and, as reported by Whispers last August, Landers Jr.’s iPawn business, which now has two locations in Little Rock.

As for what had been Steve Landers Auto Group, “Scott is the guy,” Landers Sr. said. “Scott has 100 percent operational control, so I actually work for him now.”

What kind of boss is he?

“He’s pretty tough on me. I think he’s paying me back for all those years I’ve been tough on him.”