A Ride Through the "Ford Man's" Life


The American Dream has been defined the same way for nearly 100 years… It is the idea that every United States citizen will have an equal opportunity to achieve success and prosperity through determination, perseverance and enterprise. It is the idea that each individual will achieve greatness in life and fulfill the dreams that they so choose to dream. Bob Hayden, a Michiana resident and long-time automotive enthusiast, is the perfect definition of a man who has achieved his own, individual, American Dream, and anyone who knows him would thoroughly agree.

Bob started his career in the Auto Industry over 50 years ago with the help, love and passion that he gained from his family members that preceded him including his grandfather that began his own Ford career (alongside Henry Ford himself) in 1920. Bob watched his family members become knowledgeable and successful in the industry year after year and eventually dove in head first himself. His uncle, Joe Hayden, took him under his wing in 1972 and brought him on as a salesman for his own company in Niles, Michigan, which then lead to a lifetime of car achievements. Being a Ford family, it comes as no surprise that Bob stayed a “Ford man” throughout his entire career, where he also perfected an understanding of Toyota, Lexus and even Volvo for a time, as well.


In the late Summer of 2004, Bob joined the company that he would eventually put his career on the shelf with, Jordan Automotive Group. He soared as the company's Executive Manager for nearly 20 years, just having semi-retired in 2023. He helped Jordan Automotive Group grow into a successful company that treated its employees just like family, which in turn, helped keep them around for years and years to come.

Over the years, Jordan Automotive Group saw different owners yet Bob’s way of leading his team never changed. Because of that commitment, the company continued to be exceedingly successful throughout its entirety and still is today. Bob even lead his coworkers to help with local groups that assisted children in need such as the Food Bank of Northern Indiana where they help feed over 2,500 children every Friday. Talking to Bob, he beams with happiness, explaining in detail that this act alone was a part of his happiest moments in the business, by far.


“Back in the early 80s, my grandfather told me that as long as you can get up every morning and you’re excited to go to work then you should go to work. The day you don’t want to do that, then you shouldn’t work anymore. The day that I woke up and wasn’t as excited about my days at the office as I once was, was the day that I decided to walk away and retire regardless of the fact that I loved every minute of my career.”


Bob’s retirement has already begun a new life for him where he can spend more time with his children and his grandchildren, the things that mean absolutely more to him than anything else in this world and that time spent with them is something that he adores tremendously. You can see by looking at the way his face dances with happiness when he’s with his family that he is more than just a “Ford man”. Bob is a Family man.

Bated from Henry Ford himself, Bob has traveled through his career, his personal life and his precious time with his family with the life motto, “Whether you think you can, or you think you can’t… you’re right” He lives by this motto and shares it with the people he is closest to, reminding them that your attitude will inherently decide either your success or your ultimate failure. The people that have surrounded Bob throughout his great life will agree that he has taken the high road and lived his years in deciding to succeed.

As a friend, a father, a grandfather and a businessman, Bob chooses to succeed, day in and day out. No matter the time of day, he has protected his own character through the way that he treats life and the people in it. No matter the cost, Bob has shown to be proud of the way that he left the auto industry and proud of the way that he continues to be a leader in his own family, with a 5-star rating for having a sizable character; Something his grandfather taught him all of those years ago…


With every day that passes, Bob is forever grateful for those who have mentored him including the people that he has worked for and with over the years. Those people helped lead him to being the kind and successful man that he is today and he hopes he was able to take enough time out, through his own experience, to have lead others in the right direction, as well.




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