A county family that put residents behind the wheel of GM products for nearly eight decades will exit the car business next week. Carl Honeycutt Chevrolet will shut its doors May 28.
The announcement was made Tuesday morning by owners Carl Honeycutt, who purchased the Chevrolet-Oldsmobile business from the Gentry Brown family in 1965, and his son, Joe, who has been associated with the business since 1976.
Since its inception, the business was situated near Grand Avenue and Pine Street. In 1970, the car dealership relocated to new quarters at East Highway 17 and South U.S. 63.
The Honeycutt family has a long relationship with GM products and the communities they serve. Like many small businesses, they boosted community causes and offered monetary donations to aid projects. Carl’s father, S.A. “Gus” Honeycutt, operated the Mansfield garage. Other Honeycutts also were in the business. In about 1931, J.W. Honeycutt (The father of Cabool’s Bill Honeycutt) opened the Chevrolet dealership at Cabool.
The Houston dealership is among hundreds that are expected to shutter their facilities ahead of a plan to reduce the number of GM franchises across the country. Many small towns will find themselves without a new car dealership. GM entered bankruptcy, received aid from the United States and emerged from court protection with a plan that makes the days of small, rural dealerships numbered. Those that remain in the business face large capital expenditures to remain a member of the GM family.
For the Honeycutt family, the decision is a difficult one. Carl Honeycutt will retire. Son Joe said he had begun looking for new opportunities. Joe’s two children, B.J. and Gretchen, also are associated with the business.
The Honeycutts own the real estate where the dealership is situated and will begin work to find a new tenant.