Robert P. Ross Sr. and Norma Ross: The Bob Ross Automotive Group. The evolution of the Bob Ross Auto Group began in 1972 after Bob became the first graduate of the General Motors Minority Dealer Academy to be approved as a dealer. In 1974, he purchased Vivian Buick, Opal and International Harvester Trucks in his hometown of Richmond, Indiana. Another game changer came five years later, in 1979, when Bob and Norma purchased Davis Buick and Mercedes-Benz in Centerville, Ohio, becoming the first African American Mercedes-Benz dealer in the world. Following up on that successful move, the Ross’ purchased a GMC truck franchise in 1981. Then in 1997 upon the untimely death of her husband, Norma assumed command of the Bob Ross Dealerships. Today, the Bob Ross Auto Group is under the leadership of the Ross children, CEO Janell Ross and her brother Robert Jr., and ranks No. 34 on the BE 100s to auto dealers list with $66.7 million in revenue.