Brian Hodson, owner and CEO of Hodson Jewelry Galleries, won a Smart car from Wilhelm Automotive in Peoria.
The car giveaway was part of the celebration for the grand reopening of Wilhelm's Peoria location, the largest and oldest of the five Wilhelm locations.
Hodson calls driving the Smart "a kick" and regularly uses the fuel-efficient vehicle to make his routine trip to see vendors and jeweler visits for his work.
"Everyone loves it and wants to talk about it. I am in the jewelry business, and several times a week, make a loop to visit various vendors and specialty jewelers who do work for us. Each trip is about 50 miles, and I was putting too many miles on my pickup, in addition the not so great gas mileage," said Hodson.
Before winning the Smart car, Hodson used a motorcycle to save gas on the drive and says the air-conditioned Smart car is much more comfortable to drive. He wanted to make a small car that would be fuel efficient, environmentally responsible and easy to park in small spaces.
Hodson has been a customer at Wilhelm's Tatum Ranch location since it opened. His jewelry business is based in Scottsdale.
"Ours is a family business as Wilhelm is, which was a factor in choosing them to service all our family cars. I prefer independent stores, no matter what the business is, over the big-box nationals," Hodson said.
Wilhelm said giving away a Smart car reflects his company's commitment to being a green business.
He wanted to make a small car that would be fuel efficient, environmentally responsible and easy to park.