20th May 2024

Better business. Better community

Business Industry and Financial

Car dealer Abraham Razick dies in California plane crash

Dealer Abraham Razick died July 8 when a plane he was in crashed in dense fog short of the runway at French Valley Airport in Riverside County, Calif. He and his wife, Alma Razick, 51, were among the six passengers on board the Cessna C550 business jet. There were no survivors.

Razick, 46, was a partner in Hyundai of Yuma and Kia of Yuma, both in southwest Arizona, and owner of Fullerton Ford Orange County, in Southern California, which he bought in August 2021. The staffs at Razick’s three dealerships put out a statement on Instagram shortly after the crash.

“Our owner Abraham Razick tragically passed away yesterday,” the post read. “He was a loving husband, father, brother, and proud United States Marine. His spirit and passion for life will not be forgotten along with his commitment to making his community a better place. Honor, courage, and commitment are values he learned serving in the Marine Corps and values he lived by everyday. Rest easy, Abe. You’ll forever be in our hearts. Semper Fi, Marine.”

An NTSB spokesman said the pilot reported to air traffic control that he was going to perform a missed approach, “which generally happens when the pilot can’t see the runway.”

Air traffic control cleared the pilot for the missed approach and then cleared him to land again. The pilot crashed 500 feet short of the runway. The aircraft, excluding the tail, was engulfed in fire. The airport is in Murietta, Calif., about an hour southeast of Anaheim.

Tom Textor, controller for Fullerton Ford Orange County, said Monday that Razick equally prioritized employees’ success and well-being.

“He wanted everyone to feel they could come to work and do their job without a lot of pressure to achieve or perform. But at the same point in time, he encouraged a high level of performance from everybody, and he was generous to a fault,” Textor told Automotive News.

Shortly after Razick bought the Ford dealership, he told Automotive News why he was looking forward to his new venture.

“I think it’s a great opportunity to be able to own a Ford store now with electrification and their investment with electrification,” Razick said. “Being in Orange County, it’s just a big deal out here.”

Razick became co-owner of Hyundai of Yuma and Kia of Yuma with friend Adli Kakish after both were senior managers at different dealership groups in California. The pair bought Hyundai of Yuma in March 2015 and more than quadrupled the store’s monthly sales by the end of that year. In 2016, Automotive News recognized Razick as a 40 Under 40 honoree.

Before entering the automotive industry, Razick served in an aviation unit for the Marines. He offered all active-duty military personnel and veterans free oil changes at his dealerships. He also prioritized helping fellow veterans, assisting them in finding jobs and internships. He viewed the car business as an integral part of his re-entering civilian life. In 2021, Automotive News named Razick a Notable Military Veteran.

“When I got out of the military when I was 20 years old, the automotive industry was my blessing,” Razick said, noting he wanted to be a “beacon of light” for other veterans who didn’t know what to do when they left active duty.

After the Marines, Razick originally intended to become a police officer. He got his start in the retail auto world by taking a job at a dealership in Illinois while he waited for a police academy class to start. He thought his job would be washing cars, but instead he started selling them.

Razick told Automotive News in 2016 he was an example of how a general manager could become a dealer despite having no family ties to the business. He shared this advice to industry colleagues:

“You don’t have to have $50 million. Put your name out there. Join the advisory boards and go to the meetings,” he said. “You can’t just go to meetings and complain about everything like everybody else does. Bring something to the table that nobody else is bringing. When everybody else complains, you say, ‘This is how we can sell more cars.’ They’ll be shocked.”