Herman Cook Volkswagen continues multigenerational service

Owner Dennis Cook and General Manager Connor Cook stand in the showroom of Herman Cook Volkswagen.
(Courtesy photo)

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Local families have been going to Herman Cook Volkswagen for as long as the Cook family has owned the business.

“We’re currently serving third- and fourth-generation customers, where their grandparents purchased a car, their parents purchased a car, now they’re purchasing a car,” said Connor Cook, general manager and the third generation of Cooks to run the Encinitas dealership.

Connor’s grandfather Herman opened the dealership in summer 1967. Herman’s son Dennis went to work for him in the early 1970s and eventually bought the business. Dennis has been the owner and president of Herman Cook Volkswagen for about 50 years.

Connor started working at the dealership when he was 19 and gained experience in every department, from washing cars to selling them, until becoming general manager four years ago.

Being environmentally conscious is one of the main priorities at Herman Cook VW.

One of its featured electric vehicles, the Volkswagen ID.4, recently was named a 2021 Top Safety Pick+ by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety.

“Being environmentally sustainable is a huge priority ... for our dealership,” Connor said.

Part of that commitment includes electric vehicle charging stations at the dealership.

“We’re in the process of investing in a solar system for our dealership so we can be energy-independent,” Connor said. “Sustainable ‘green’ measures are our big priority this year.”

Herman Cook VW also is involved with the Magdalena Ecke Family YMCA in Encinitas, where Dennis served on the board for more than 25 years. The dealership also is a sponsor of the San Diego State Aztecs and sponsors the Encinitas Turkey Trot, Surfing Madonna Beach Run, Cardiff Kook Run and other local races for runners.

“We’ve always been very actively involved in our local community,” Connor said.

The company is the only VW dealership in San Diego County to achieve 100 percent training in all departments under the corporate guidelines provided by Volkswagen.

“All of our technicians are certified to meet Volkswagen corporate standards,” Connor said. “Basically, Volkswagen corporate on a national level has certification and training requirements that we ensure all of our employees meet each and every year.”

He added that it helps the dealership provide the “highest level of knowledge and customer support.”

Members of the sales team go through similar training to make sure they are up to speed on the features and specifications of each vehicle.

“We strive to hire and retain employees who share our common family values and retain them as long as possible by providing a fun and healthy environment to work in,” Connor said.

He added that the dealership’s main goal is “to continue to serve the community.”

“We love being a part of the amazing Encinitas and North County community,” Connor said. “I think we all feel very blessed to be able to work and live in such a special area.”

Herman Cook VW is at 1435 Encinitas Blvd. For more information, visit

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