Letter from the Owner, Hi, my name is Rich Larson and along with my beautiful wife, own Law Motors. My career in the car business started due to a tragedy that haunts me until today. In 1985 my father was a farmer. Like many family farms we became victim of the times. We had our farm sale in April and the future was unknown. I never thought I would want nor do anything different but milk cows.
No longer faced with the dream, needing a new career and scared, I went out into the world. I had an offer to play Jr. College football and at college they offered a radio TV broadcasting course. Having no money during summer break I was hired at K101 in Luverne part time. Just before my 2nd season of fall practice I was offered a full time position at the station. I decided work experience was better than taking my beat up knees back to football. I miss playing football even today. Two months later they fired me. I thought my life was over. I remember saying this to Dad and that was the last time he yelled at me. Dad reminded me how lucky I was and to man up.
I applied for and became a nightclub disc jockey at a new bar at the time, Opies Nightclub. Remember that place Sioux Falls?? It was a fun job. My first wife didn't like me working the bar. I went back to my college business Jimmy's Fish & Seafood. Scott Guttormson was in radio school and become my best friend. They gave me an opportunity to sell fish and seafood. James Guttormson taught me how to sell a product. I owe that family for the direction of my career. I never feared making a sales call again. Thanks Jimmy!
Next was an adventure back in Sioux Falls working for Jim Burma at Carlson Distributing. This is all I have to say; I learned that successful people don't work an 8-hour day. Jim Burma Sr. is today my business mentor and a close friend.
Oh yeah the car business. My father was working the car business before and since the day the farm went away. One day Brad Carley from Billion Motors offered me a job selling cars. I asked Dad what he thought. He gave me the best and only advice that I hold deeply in my heart; Rich be nice to people and they will buy from you. I took the advice and with a lot of help became the top used car salesman and not only at my store but all the Billion stores. I found a lifelong career.
After being promoted to new car sales manager at the Billion Chrysler & Nissan store and being rewarded a "National Growth Award" for new Nissan sales, I was presented a bonus check. That bonus check ended up paying less than what I was making selling used cars. Young and cocky, I marched into Dave Billion's office. I said pay me the difference and I will stay otherwise I am buying my own car lot. Dave Billion Sr. stood up, shook my hand and said good luck!
I guess he did just fine without me. I thank Billion Motors for the many things but I wanted to treat my customers with more personal service.
I started Wall Street Motor Company in 1995 with a partner. This business was successful but the partnership wasn'?t. My customers were in Sioux Falls and after a though divorce I decided to sell my half and move on. Out of work Billions offered to hire me back. A friend said lets drive around and see if we can start a car lot. I declined Billion's offer and started Larson & Wagner Auto Brokerage in 1997. I hated that name! We had a $100,000 line of credit and in the car business that's not enough. We had no money for a sign outside our business. I remember looking out my door and saying this is never going to work. I was depressed. At a car auction I saw a 1992 Ford Taurus running through. A light bulb went off. The bank would let me buy that car; I could letter it up and make it back into a police car, and shorten our name to L.A.W. Motors, the company was born.
TV commercials made us semi-famous. My schooling at Austin Community College gave me the knowledge it needed to succeed at the campaign. Oh yeah, and my big mouth. One year after opening we doubled in size and I bought my partner out in 1999. We grew!!
Another Tragedy; On June 10th of the year 2000 god gave me my greatest gift of my life, my wife Laura and my son Tyler. This completed me. What's the tragedy? September 11th, 2001. My wife had a career as a successful computer programmer at EROS Data Center. She was working on the "Dorran Project" and EROS went to a worldwide security alert. Everyone that was a subcontractor for the government was escorted out of EROS Data Center. This included Laura. We lost a $60,000 yearly salary and health insurance. It was a scary time. Laura is an Oracle programmer and only the world's largest companies used this system. Laura's employment opportunities were limited.
We considered selling Law Motors. I had just bought our building on 7th and Kiwanis and I asked Laura to join me and believe in the dream of owning a family business. We are a great team and along with Tyler we really started our growth. Currently Law Motors employs seven people. We have sales, service, and financing. We have sold nearly ten-thousand cars, and continue to grow each year.
I have enjoyed writing this short biography. It has brought happiness, sadness, and pride to me. Thank you, my customers and without you none of this would be possible.
Sincerley, Richard Larson
2700 West 7th St, 7th & N. Kiwanis Ave., Sioux Falls, SD 57104 - [View Map]