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The History of Merchants Automotive Group


Founded by Irving Singer in 1962, "Merchants Motors" began as a small automobile dealership in downtown Manchester, New Hampshire. Mr. Singer subscribed to the philosophy that good customer service was the cornerstone of success and the foundation of any respectable community business. In fact, it was after he received a loan from Merchants Bank that Mr. Singer founded Merchants Motors, naming his company after the Bank for affording him the opportunity.


As the success of Merchants Motors grew, Mr. Singer's customers began to realize that he offered something that few automotive businesses at that time thought to do - offering more than used car sales, but service and rentals as well. His customers appreciated the full-service approach and the business flourished, which led Merchants into the fleet leasing business in 1967.  Over the ensuing years each of his sons Stephen, Robert, Alan, Jeffrey, Gary and son-in-law Michael Sydney graduated from college they returned to New Hampshire and continued to grow it based on their father’s full-service philosophy.  Over the years Merchants has steadily grown from a regional company to a national fleet management company with commercial, government, and nonprofit customers in all 50 states.

The two things that set Merchants apart from other businesses is the willingness to put clients first and to entertain business options that others were unwilling or unable to consider. In 2004, a professional management team was hired to add depth to Merchants’ executive office. Today, the Singer family remains intimately involved in the day-to-day business, providing expertise in all areas of fleet management, from defining lease terms to making recommendations on vehicle selection and finding creative financing solutions for each of our current and prospective clients.  Today, Merchants Automotive Group in Hooksett, New Hampshire includes Merchants Auto, Merchants Fleet Management, Merchants Short-Term Solutions, as well as Merchants Service and CARQUEST Parts.

The Singer Family and the Community

Early on, Mr. Singer taught his children the importance of giving back to the community and helping those in need. His philanthropic teachings were the foundation for the formation of the Merchants Charitable Contributions Committee, which supports the community through financial donations, volunteer hours, and memorabilia for auctions/raffles. Leading by example, the Singers foster a corporate environment that encourages employees to be active in the community.

The mission statement of the Merchants Charitable Contributions Committee is:  “Merchants is committed to a corporate culture that celebrates and encourages community involvement, investment and volunteerism. Through the Charitable Contributions Committee and member involvement, we will support local based charities to create a more productive and enriched community.    Those agencies and programs that support families/children, the elderly, veterans and community based sports programs will be given priority.  In addition, resources will also be dedicated to those causes where employees have significant passion and involvement.”

The Merchants Charitable Contributions Team is comprised of family members and employees of Merchants Automotive Group. Committee members, as well as Merchant Employees, perform a variety of charitable works - from serving meals to underprivileged children through the Salvation Army Kids Café, to supporting handicapped individuals through the UpReach Therapeutic Riding Center, to assisting home-bound seniors through Meals-On-Wheels - reaching out to a wide range of deserving charities.

Merchants' continuing efforts to support local causes, including the annual Gail Singer Memorial Blood Drive to support the American Red Cross (America’s Largest Blood Drive in 2011), the Salvation Army Kettle Campaign, Easter Seals, Granite State United Way, the Boy's and Girl's Club of Greater Manchester, Child and Family Services, Families in Transition, New Horizons of NH, SEE Science Center, American Cancer Society, The Webster House, and many more.

Merchants also extends its support to a variety of community organizations and programs which focus on providing support to families/children, the elderly, veterans and community based sports programs.


Dedication to Local Sports

The Singer Family has a rich history of contributing to local sports in the community.  Singer Family Park was established in 1998 and spent the next five years hosting such events as Family Film Night (a mock drive-in), Riverfest and concerts.  The field was also home to the New Hampshire Phantoms – the state’s semi-professional soccer team.  High school events and a number of Division II sporting events relied on Singer Family Park as their home field.

Beginning in 2005, New Hampshire’s AA Affiliate of the Toronto Blue Jays, The NH Fisher Cats called Singer Family Park home under the sponsorship of Stadium.  After 5 years of great memories with Merchants to thank, the park is now known as Northeast Delta Dental Stadium.

Historical Accomplishments and Highlights

In January 2012, Diana Holland, Director of Fleet Services for Merchants Leasing, was in the New Hampshire Union Leader "40 Under Forty" 2012 class.  This award recognizes the top 40 young people in the state, "helping to make New Hampshire a better place to live".

In October 2011, Merchants Automotive Group was recognized by Harvard Pilgrim Health Care of New England and NHBR as the 2011 Health Innovator Award recipient.  The award recognizes an employer for innovative and sustained efforts in bringing wellness programs to the workplace.

In December 2004, Merchants Automotive Group was honored to receive the "Not Your Typical Business Award" from Citizens Bank and the New Hampshire Business Review. This award recognizes New Hampshire businesses that have demonstrated leadership in their commitment to their customers, colleagues, and community.

Tom Metzger, Chairman/President/CEO of Citizens Bank New Hampshire, noted that choosing Merchants as the recipient was an easy decision, adding that Merchants and the Singer Family "wrote the book" on customer satisfaction, employee appreciation, and philanthropic efforts.

In August of 2004, Merchants Automotive Group received a commendation from Governor Craig Benson. The commendation was presented to the Company and its Employees for their outstanding dedication to community service.

In fall, Merchants Automotive Group became the first pre-owned vehicle dealership in northern New England to be accepted into the AAA Vehicle Purchasing Dealer Program. Participants in the program are required to meet the highest standard for service and quality in the area in which they do business. Dedication to providing quality pre-owned vehicles, a commitment to ethical business practices, friendly and fair customer service, and easy, no-haggle financing are all required qualities for any AAA Vehicle Purchasing Dealer Program participant.

Our country is experiencing a serious blood shortage. Please call 1-800-GIVE-LIFE today or visit to set up a donation appointment.

Your needs change fast. We get that. For over 50 years, our short-term leasing division has offered clients long-term rental and short-term leasing solutions nationwide.

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No matter what your needs are, we offer a variety of commercial fleet leasing options to help you build the fleet that makes the most sense for you. And we have the right fleet management tools to keep your fleet on the road including maintenance, roadside assistance, competitive insurance and more. 

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Our pre-owned dealership is one of the largest in New England boasting an inventory of nearly 400 vehicles to choose from. With the right cars at the right price, you're sure to find what you're looking for at Merchants! Browse our inventory today!

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