Celebrating 95 Years of Service
Thank you! What an honor it has been to be able to serve as Madison’s Ford dealer for 95 years. We would first like to express our gratitude and appreciation for the diligent and hard-working effort our entire staff has put in over these many years. What an amazing team of men and women we get to work with every day. We are truly humbled that you have dedicated your careers to helping build Kayser into what it has become. We would also like to thank all of our guests who have trusted us with a vehicle purchase or repair over the past many years. Your continued business is greatly appreciated and the primary reason we have been able to do what we love. We have an amazing history thanks to you. - Baxter Family, Owners, Kayser Automotive Group
1903 – Birth of Ford Motor Company
Henry Ford Incorporated the Ford Motor Company with a $28,000 Cash Investment.
1914 – First Guaranteed Minimum Wage
Ford Introduced the First Guaranteed Minimum wage of $5 per day (which was double the average pay at the time).
1921 – The Pack Plays Their First Game
The Green Bay Packers played their first game, they won 7 – 6 beating Minneapolis.
1925 – Paul A. Kayser Opens First Dealership
Paul A. Kayser son of former Madison Mayor Adolph Kayser opens his dealership on East Washington Ave., Madison WI. Dealership beings selling and servicing the famed Model T Ford.
1927 – Kayser Sells First Used Car
When cars were first sold they often were kept much longer than they are today and finding used cars to buy was much harder than is the case today.
1927 – First Solo Non-Stop Transatlantic Flight
Charles Lindbergh makes the first solo nonstop transatlantic flight in his plane The Spirit of St. Louis.
1930 – Kayser Buys Fox Motor Sales Company
Kayser moves up the street to an expanded location and becomes the exclusive Ford Dealer in the market.
1935 – Kayser Begins Parts Delivery
Kayser designates a delivery truck to deliver auto parts to local repair shops throughout Southern Wisconsin. Prior to this shop owners had to travel to a Ford Dealer to purchase parts.
1941 – Kayser Purchases Lincoln Franchise
Kayser becomes Madison's Lincoln dealer and located the franchise at the corner of Monroe St. and Regent St. This is now the location of Hotel Red.
1942 – US Military Ford Jeeps
Ford began producing Jeeps for the US Military.
1942 – Military Build-up Limits Car Sales
During WWII steel was being rationed for use in building military vehicles and only civilians in certain occupations could purchase cars. Kayser was selected as one of eight Madison dealers that could except a government license for the purchase of a car and the only one of the eight still in business today.
1945 – Kayser Sells to It’s First Celebrity
Eddie Peabody was known as the world's greatest banjo player. Born in Massachusetts and living in California, Peabody found Kayser during his visits to Chicago to entertain US Troops returning from WWII.
1947 – Madison’s Beltline Highway Begins Construction
Construction of the Beltline highway began. It opened for the first time in 1950.
1950 – Kayser Celebrates 25th Anniversary
This is Kayser's first known all staff photo. Paul Kayser can be seen seated in the center of the photo with black rimmed glasses.
1950 – Kayser Employs Over 100
After further expansion and the addition of a body shop, Kayser Ford has over 100 employees has become the largest Ford Dealer in the State of Wisconsin.
1952 – Kayser’s First Sell-A-Rama
Kayser holds the First Sell-A-Rama Sale – The catchy radio jingle has taken over the Madison airwaves every July.
1956 – Kenneth Kimport Purchases Kayser
Following the untimely death of Paul Kayser, Kenneth Kimport purchases the business.
1962 – John Glen Orbits Earth
Lt. Colonel John Glen becomes the first U.S. astronaut to orbit the Earth.
1964 – First Mustang
The Ford Mustang is introduced.
1965 – Kayser Becomes Largest Ford Parts Distributor in Midwest
Providing parts to dealers and mechanics all over Wisconsin, Iowa and Illinois. During this time it was custom for Parts Department staff to wear white lab coats as part of their uniform.
1969 – Moon Landing
Apollo 11 lands the first human beings on the Moon. Ford Motor Company owned that provided the electrical engineering for NASA.
1971 – Kayser Dealership Relocates
After decades of continued success and growth, the Kayser Dealership moves to its current location on the Beltline Hwy.
1973 – Oil Crisis
US in midst of OAPEC oil embargo, retail gas prices per gallon “spiked” from the national average of 38 cents to 55 cents per gallon.
1985 – Pat Baxter
Pat Baxter purchases a portion of the business and takes a leadership role as President and General Manager. In subsequent years Mr. Baxter acquires the entire business and continues its expansion.
1988 – Kayser Buys Yugo Franchise
Touted as a revolutionary car, the Yugo was sticker priced at $4,000. The US Market skeptical of the car and for good reason. The Yugo topped Time Magazine's list of the "50 Worst Cars Ever Made". Kayser stopped selling the Yugo two years after it began and ended up purchasing back over 20 cars from customers experiencing major issues.
1990 – Kayser Buys Jeep Franchise
Kayser buys Jeep franchise and locates it across from it's Ford Dealership in Madison. Kayser would later trade the Madison Jeep franchise for a Nissan franchise.
1994 – Kayser Expands to Sauk Prairie
Kayser purchases Town and Country Motors in Prairie Du Sac, WI. Builds state of the art dealership in Sauk City on Hwy 12, expanding Kayser's franchise offerings to include Chrysler, Dodge and Jeep.
1998 – Kayser Expands to Watertown
Kayser purchases Grinwald Chrysler in Watertown, WI. Builds state of the art dealership on Hwy 16 and adds Jeep and Dodge franchises becoming Jefferson County's only full line Chrysler Dodge Jeep dealer.
2000 – Kayser Expands to Pulaski
Kayser acquires S&L Motors in Pulaski, WI.
2003 – Kayser Buys Isuzu Truck Franchise
Kayser expands its commercial sales division to include the Isuzu Commercial Truck fleet and has Oscar Meyer as one if it's first customers, having bought the truck body that supports the Company's famed Wienermobile.
2003 – Ford Celebrates 100 Years
Ford Motor Company celebrates its 100 anniversary. Kayser marks the event with a double-page spread in the Wisconsin State Journal.
2008 – US Auto Industry Goes Bankrupt
Financial crisis grips US auto industry causing GM and Chrysler to file for bankruptcy. Ford being the only US auto manufacturer not to receive government 'Bail Out' assistance.
2010 – Kayser Reaches Another Milestone
Celebrates its 85th anniversary.
2012 – Kayser Purchases Lincoln Franchise
Becomes Madison's exclusive Ford Lincoln dealership.
2014 – Sean Baxter Becomes President
Sean Baxter, the oldest son of Pat Baxter is promoted to President.
2015 – Kayser Celebrates 90 Years
Kayser Celebrates its 90th Anniversary.
2019 – Kayser Acquires Ballweg Chevrolet Buick
Kayser adds Chevrolet and Buick in Sauk City, WI to round out domestic franchise offerings.
2019 – Pat Baxter Honored By Chrysler
Kayser Chrysler Center of Sauk Prairie celebrates 25 year milestone.
In 1985, Pat Baxter became part owner, President and General Manager. After becoming sole owner, Pat continued the tradition of continuous improvement established by the founder Paul Kayser. With Pat’s leadership and dedication Kayser has grown to become the market leader as well as achieving an outstanding level of customer service.
In 2014, Pat promoted his oldest Son, Sean to President. Sean Baxter, along with his brothers Ryan and Brendan, is the new generation of leadership at Kayser.