Why Not: An interview with Fred Trudeau

The question is why Buda; why companies are investing in Buda now more than ever, even though times are tough for everybody, including small businesses.

But Fred Trudeau, President of Leif Johnson Ford, flipped the tables when he asked why not invest in Buda. For the man who has lived here and watched the city’s population grow from 500 to over 16,000, he sees that the city has managed to develop in a smart and sensible way. In order to support the city that has given so much to his company, friends and family, Trudeau has chosen to be the Buda Area Chamber of Commerce’s number one supporter.

“The people of Buda have welcomed us, and we rely on people in Buda,” Trudeau said. “When I look around, I’m real proud when I see almost all the Ford vehicles came from Truck City Ford; that makes you want to give back to the community.”

Praise and credit for Truck City Ford’s success, according to Trudeau, is owed to the great residents of Buda and the employees who do their best to serve them using the newest technology and lowest prices around. While many people may be under the impression that dealerships are more expensive to go to for vehicle repairs, Trudeau wants to break that stigma.

Ford mechanics are held to the highest standards in training by constantly updating their knowledge on the newest technologies. Combining their mechanic’s know-how with the shop’s advanced diagnostics machines means less time in the shop and less money spent.

Truck City Ford has innovated beyond technology and found new ways to serve the community by saving their customer’s time. Recently, they started a program where a mechanically-equipped truck drives to customer’s homes to do simple jobs like oil changes and more. If the job is not manageable in the driveway, they will tow the vehicle to their shop. This idea was implemented shortly before the coronavirus hit, but Trudeau saw its true potential in the aftermath. Less face time means lower risk of spreading the disease.

“If you were to ask me three years ago about a truck that drove to houses to do repairs,” Trudeau said, “I would have said nobody does that, it doesn’t sound right.”

Still, he said that he built upon this idea from truly listening to consumers and their needs.

Over the years, a lot has changed about Trudeau; he went from riding horses around town to driving around town in a 375 horse-powered Ford F-150 Truck — but his work ethic, innovation, pride of his team and sense of community remains the same.

Since joining the Leif Johnson family, he has begged for more female inclusion in the field, and in many positions, he has seen the change. Inclusion means more women in management, in sales and most importantly, more female mechanics.

Trudeau has had trouble finding a solution to get more women interested in the field, but he continues to advocate for it.

“When you get the women that are committed to getting into the business, they’re usually the best.”

Trudeau’s support and encouragement extends beyond the money he invests in the chamber of commerce, the high school programs that train mechanics and the diverse work atmosphere.

Truck City Ford recently put up a billboard on Main Street that includes a shout-out to Shop Buda, TX. Trudeau show his support for the community and reminds everybody to shop local, especially during these financially difficult times.

“Buda is that little piece of heaven that we have right now,” Trudeau’s eyes glimmered. “When you get into the town and see the business owners, they’re local. Then you see the same business owners out in public doing this and that. So again, props to Buda for the way they’ve grown and all the local businesses that make you want to eat locally.”

There are many ways that Trudeau explained why he supports the locale, but simply stated, “why not.”

Buda Area Chamber of Commerce