Zero to Sixty
Anchorage Chrysler Dodge Jeep Ram Dealership marks its 60th anniversary
By Tracy Barbour

verlooking the first traffic signal on the Glenn Highway entering Anchorage—or the last light on East Fifth Avenue on the way out of town—the Anchorage Chrysler Dodge Jeep Ram dealership has been a fixture since April 1963. Celebrating its 60th anniversary this year, the family-owned company exemplifies a successful model of owners selling to employees.

The original owners, Kenneth B. Davis and Glen Phillips, opened the first showroom as 5th Avenue Chrysler. They built the operation until their retirement in 1978.

The next year, Ray Sutton and Joe Leavitt Sr. invested in the business, adding their unique expertise and drive. Anchorage Chrysler Center Inc., as the company was called then, added brands, becoming a “quad” (Chrysler, Plymouth, Dodge, Dodge Truck). In fact, the Anchorage franchise was, for a time, the most profitable “quad” in the country, outselling and outperforming all other dealers in the Northwest Zone.

In 1987 longtime salesman and fleet manager Rod Udd took the helm. As the sole owner, he ultimately expanded the dealership to encompass an 11-acre site on East Fifth Avenue. He also supported numerous worthy causes to give back to Anchorage and Alaska, including the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race, Fur Rendezvous, Alaska Raceway Park, Alaska Aces, and Boys & Girls clubs.

Udd passed away in 2017, but the dealership is still a family-owned enterprise, held by his widow and his daughter.

Leadership remained in experienced employee hands. In 2014, Udd tapped general manager Corey Meyers, considered an “ultimate car man,” to become the next company president.

With Meyers’ expert guidance and the acquisition of the Jeep franchise in 2000, the full-service dealership is thriving more than ever before. Today Anchorage Chrysler Dodge Jeep Ram and its 100-plus employees are looking forward to many more years of serving Alaskans.