Murdock family officially takes ownership of Axtell-Taylor GM

The Murdock family of car dealerships has been growing throughout the state and has expanded in Cache Valley recently. Already with Hyundai and Volkswagen dearlerships in Hyde Park, the family recently purchased the GM and Chevrolet dealership in Logan from the Axtell and Taylor family.

“We’re grateful for the opportunity to make our imprint a little bit bigger in Cache Valley,” said Ben Murdock, general manager of the Cache Valley properties and part owner. 

At a grand opening party and ribbon cutting on Thursday, Ben’s uncle KO Murdock, who is one of the majority owners of the family of dealerships, said the purchase of the GM and Chevrolet dealership has been several years in the making.

“Because of my friendship with Thomas and Bruce (Axtell)…we’ve been like brothers since the early ‘70s and have talked about the car business, dealer trades and things like that,” KO explained. “So about three years ago Thomas said he was getting hit by people to sell to them.

“I told him, ‘don’t sell to anybody else. If you’re going to sell, sell to us.’ I don’t think he talked to anybody else.”

The sale went through this summer, but Thursday marked the day the Murdock family wanted to make it official for the public. The event included a catered lunch that featured several dignitaries in attendance, including Logan City councilwoman Holly Daines, Utah State University basketball coach Tim Duryea, USU football coach Matt Wells and others.

“Economic development is a really critical issue for our city,” said Holly Daines, “and it’s really important. We’re thrilled to have them here doing business. We are pleased to have them as part of our community. We welcome you with open arms.”

Selling cars has been a way of life for the Murdock family for a long time, and Ben represents the fourth generation in the car business.

“It was started in 1926 by my great-grandpa,” Ben explained. “Then my grandpa, my dad and my uncle KO, now me and my brother Blake and my cousin Tyson. We are so grateful for the great customers and the great friends we’ve been able to meet and get to know.”

While the company has primarily been based in Bountiful and Woods Cross, the company also has dealerships in Murray and Utah County besides the three now in Cache Valley. There has always been a special connection between the Murdock family and Northern Utah.

“This is not our first exposure to Logan,” KO exclaimed with a grin. “Back in 1946-49 is when my dad came up and was a three-sport letterman for Utah State. He played with the golden boy Jay Van Noy.” 

KO explained that his father also played with a young LaVell Edwards at USU.

Ben moved to Logan with his young family nearly 10 years ago to begin managing the Hyundai store. A few years later the Murdock family opened a new Volkswagen dealership.

“We are really grateful to be here in the Cache Valley, to be a part of the community,” Ben said. “We are so grateful for the opportunity it is to serve you and build upon the great things we’ve been able to accomplish at Hyundai and Volkswagen, and build upon the great things that the Axtells and Taylors were able to accomplish and continue to grow.”

“One thing I didn’t take into consideration is the people the Axtells and the Taylors had when we took over the business,” said KO. “I thought maybe we’d have to replace 50% of the people because they may not want to do the stuff the way we want to do it. But the people have been so amazing.”

Both Ben and KO got emotional when they thanked their families and the families of their employees for the role they play in making their business succeed.

The festivities for the grand opening celebration continue through the weekend with a car show on Saturday that will include bounce houses, face painting and several other family-friendly activities.

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