In 1964, Robert Romain, Sr. founded United Automobile Leasing, Inc., a retail and automotive leasing operation, in Evansville, Indiana. United Automobile Leasing, Inc. was the first business in the Evansville area to offer leasing options to business customers. The company quickly expanded and added a daily car rental company, United Rent-A-Car, as well as commercial real estate investments.
United Automobile Leasing, Inc. began expanding its leasing services into business equipment and changed its name to United Leasing, Inc. to more appropriately reflect its expanded scope of business. Additionally, the company added its first remote Rent-A-Car branch in Indianapolis and acquired the Country Ridge subdivision development and other commercial buildings in the Evansville area.
1970′sUnited Leasing, Inc. built and moved into its current corporate headquarters located on Morgan Avenue in Evansville, Indiana. During construction, the Buick automobile dealership in Evansville was acquired so the new building construction was altered to accommodate both businesses. United Leasing, Inc. continued expanding its scope of business with specialized services to the blasting and mining industries. Romain Buick, Inc. grew to include the Subaru automobile line in Evansville and J.R. Chevrolet/Pontiac in Morganfield, Kentucky. United Rent-A-Car opened three locations in Indianapolis and a location in Terre Haute, Indiana. Professional Transportation, Inc. was founded and began its operations, serving as a crew transportation service for Class I railroads in the Midwest.
1980′sUnited Leasing, Inc. acquired ULI, Inc., Kentucky along with the Trans Leasing portfolio which helped to expand its reach and market in the leasing sector. United continued and stepped up its niche marketing approach with specialized services related to hotel and airport buses, funeral vehicles, medical equipment, government contracts and the restaurant industry. United was the primary lessor to Papa John’s Pizza franchisees during that company’s primary growth period. The automotive retailing interests of the company became commonly known as Romain Automotive Group and market expansion continued with the addition of Romain Ford Mercury, Saturn of Evansville, Romain Suzuki and Saturn of Terre Haute.
1990′sProfessional Transportation, Inc. was awarded a system-wide contract with CSXT, nearly doubling trip volume and adding operations in 10 states. To help run all aspects of its business, Professional Transportation, Inc. developed and implemented a proprietary information system known as C.R.E.W. (Crew Routing Efficiency Window). United Rent-A-Car added a total of 24 locations in Indiana, Kentucky, Illinois, and Texas before being sold in 1998. The company’s employee count grew to 1200.
2000′sTo better identify and communicate the business interests of United Leasing, Inc., Romain Automotive Group and Professional Transportation, Inc., the assumed business name “United Companies” was adopted and put into use. United Leasing, Inc. moved heavily into leasing activities in the fitness equipment industry and has continued to expand its equipment leasing operations. Furthermore, the company was awarded a U.S. Government GSA contract for vehicle leasing while also creating a department to handle business servicing consumer loans in the HVAC industry. Other indirect consumer financing was pursued, including automotive financing through a subsidiary operation known as United Finance. Professional Transportation, Inc. expanded its operations through business contracts with the Dearborn, Central, Georgia and Alabama Divisions of Norfolk Southern and the Virginia Territory of CSXT, and also assumed the operations of a competitor with locations in 5 southern states. Romain Automotive Group expanded into Michigan with its purchase of two Saturn locations in the Detroit area, forming Michigan Automotive of Indiana, Inc. The Evansville operations of Romain Automotive Group expanded into a new state-of-the-art facility in January 2006.
2010′sIn 2010, Romain Automotive was awarded the Cadillac and GMC franchises by General Motors as well as purchased the Chevrolet franchise in the Terre Haute, Indiana market.
Most recently, both Evansville and Terre Haute, Indiana dealerships are undergoing major renovations in keeping with the new GM image standards. A state-of-the art $1.6 million renovation and enhancement of the Romain Cross Pointe Auto Park’s dealership location began mid-January 2012. Additionally, the Terre Haute Chevrolet location will add much-needed space to the existing building and align the dealership with the revitalized brand strategy and changing customer expectations.
United Companies has evolved into a multifaceted financial and transportation services organization with more than 3,000 corporate accounts. With over 6,400 associates, United Companies has direct operations in 40 states and the District of Columbia, and manages assets in all 50 states, Canada and Mexico.
United Companies is committed to strategic growth for all its companies, while continuing to honor its original mission statement of “…being a growth-oriented organization providing quality products and service that exceed customer expectations.”
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