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About Us

Our Beginning

Struggling to make something out of limited resources is not foreign to Mr. Ellis. When he was 10 years old, he and his family moved to the Atlanta Prison Farm property. His father was the foreman of the prison farm and his grandfather was the superintendent. Growing up, Mr. Ellis worked on a farm, had a milk and paper route, did construction, ran a concessions business at Grant Park, and ran a laundry route. By the time he completed West Georgia College and Georgia State University in 1957 with a BBA in general management, he had worked as a prison guard and foreman, sold insurance, IBM Machines and real estate, and held various other jobs to work his way through college. After returning from serving two years in the U.S. Army, Mr. Ellis held a variety of jobs until he found his place in the automobile business with General Motors in 1960.


In 1970, Jim Ellis and his wife Billie took the biggest financial plunge of their lives to establish their own automobile dealership. They sold all of their assets, used all of their savings, cashed in Billie's retirement fund from over 15 years at Georgia Tech, and borrowed the balance to begin Jim Ellis Volkswagen in 1971. In total, the plunge amounted to $35,000 in assets, and $165,000 in loans.

Our Family

The Ellis family is a very close-knit one. After 47 years in business, both Jim and Billie have stepped back from their active roles as president/CEO and secretary/treasurer respectively. Jim Ellis now serves as chairman of our company. Jim and Billie's son, Jimmy is the President and CEO of the corporations. Their daughters, Karen Black  and Kristi Cohron both serve as corporate officers. Karen's daughter, Brooke Gatlin serves as the director of human resources. Jimmy's daughter, Stacey Hodges serves as vice president of Audi Atlanta and our corporate directors. Jimmy's son Wes, serves as vice president of Jim Ellis Hyundai, Jim Ellis Genesis, Jim Ellis Volkswagen Atlanta and Volvo Cars Mall of GA. Jim's niece's son, Chris Roper serves as office manager for Mazda Marietta and Volvo Cars of Marietta.

The responsibilities of these family members are clearly spread out throughout the company, and many of the family members play an active role in the businesses. We now have three generations working every day in our family business. The fourth generation is coming up with six members ages five to 17. They are young, but we are planning for them to have an opportunity to work with us too, when they complete their chosen education.

We are celebrating our 47th year in business in 2018, and plan to be family-owned and operated for the next foreseeable generations of the Ellis family.