David Karangu Ivory Chevrolet
David Karangu could possibly be the only Kenyan immigrant to the United States that owns his own luxury plane. A toy purchased with the spoils from years of hard work and focus in the US car industry. The very straight forward and focused Karangu often talks about his ambition early on during his early years in Baltimore saying, “I will be a millionaire before I’m 30 years old.” He says that is what he wanted more than anything else and he went for it.
He was born at Grady Hospital in in Atlanta in 1967 but grew up in Kenya. He later enrolled at Morgan State University in Baltimore, MD where he studied Marketing. In 1985, he won an internship by the General Motors Corporation where he spent his summers working at Jerry’s Chevrolet. During this time, he developed a passion for the automobile industry. He worked in every department of the dealership and made up his mind that the automobile industry was going to be part of his future.
Upon graduating in 1987, he went to work for the Ford Motor Company in Jacksonville, FL. At Ford he spent the next eight years rising through the ranks and honing his skills while working with Ford dealerships throughout the state of Florida. He left Ford in 1995 and attended the NADA Dealer Academy. While attending the academy, he worked as a Sales Manager at a Lincoln dealership in Melbourne, Florida.
On November 1st, 1997 David opened his first dealership – Fairway Ford of Augusta in Georgia. At the tender age of 30 he was the youngest Ford Dealer in the United States. While there he achieved the following:
- Ebony Magazine 2001 Dealer of the Year
- Ford Motor Company 2005 President’s Award
- Black Enterprise Top 50 Dealers in the United States
On July 1, 2005 he opened Mercedes Benz of Augusta. This was to be the crown jewel of the new empire. From the beginning, it was a success, setting new records for a Mercedes dealership and David being one of five African Americans in History to own one.
April 2nd, 2007 was yet another milestone in his automotive career. He acquired a BMW dealership in Columbia, SC and renamed it BMW of Columbia. Along with it came other franchises – Ivory VW and Ivory Subaru. Black Enterprise Magazine has ranked the Ivory Auto Group as the 26th largest minority owned Dealership in the United States with Sales over $100 million Dollars annually.
In December 2007, David sold the entire Ivory Group of dealerships to Group 1 Auto Group. He retired at the age of 40 to pursue his lifelong dream of travelling throughout the world, he also became a chef and a luxury homebuilder.
Only July 14, 2010, he purchased the former Steve Rayman Chevrolet South and renamed it Ivory Chevrolet. This is yet another new beginning as he rebuilds his auto empire.
Throughout his journey, David has always believed in helping and motivating others. He has given motivational speeches to various groups throughout the US and to corporations in Kenya. He has donated funds in Kenya for HIV/Aids awareness, educational scholarships and orphanages.
July 28, 2005 was declared “David Karangu Day” by the Mayor of Augusta. In 2007, the Mayor of Augusta gave David an Honorary Key to the City. The Governor of the State of Georgia appointed him to the board of the Medical College of Georgia – the second largest hospital in the State for a three year term.
David Karangu currently resides in Atlanta, Georgia with his family and is an avid Real Estate investor in the United States and Kenya.