Gus Machado, an auto dealership icon in Florida, has died at age 87 in Miami.

Machado was well known for owning Gus Machado Ford in Hialeah. Machado sold new and used Ford vehicles and he made it a priority to have a staff fluent in Spanish to ensure Spanish-speaking customers had the same shopping experience as English-speaking ones. Machado immigrated to the U.S. from Cuba at the age of 15, relocating to Miami in 1956. There, he borrowed $2,000 from his father to invest in a Miami gas station and began exporting used vehicles to Cuba.

In 1960, Machado began focusing on automotive retail, especially with the large influx of exiles from Cuba. With a steady increase in business, Machado operated a series of used car dealerships throughout the next decade such as American Auto Sales, Big Trail Auto Sales and G.M. Auto Export and purchased his first dealership, Gus Machado Buick, in 1982. With these gains, Machado would go on to become the No. 1 Ford dealer in Dade County.

Gus Machado Ford has received Ford’s Blue Oval certification and the President’s Award in 2003.  In 2008, Machado established the Gus Machado Family Foundation, which has contributed to nearly 50 charitable organizations in South Florida, including the American Cancer Society and Miami Children’s Hospital Foundation.