For the comfort of his mechanics, Mr. Tischer air-conditioned service areas. He established a profit-sharing program for his employees and installed a computer system that kept repair case histories of customers’ cars and helped streamline dealer operations.
“You can make so many mistakes doing things by pencil and paper,” he told The Washington Post in 1985. “That creates customer aggravation, and that loses sales.”
In 1992, Mr. Tischer built a replica 50-foot stone medieval German tower as an homage to those he remembered in Kleinforst, a suburb of Dresden. He spent many days in the tower surveying his surrounding 50-acre farm.
He was also an avid gardener and animal lover, and at one time he kept turkeys, ducks, chickens, pigs, sheep, goats, horses, donkeys, dogs, cats and even a bull.
He is survived by two sons, Joseph Kloeppel of Indiana and Ralf Tischer of Hanover, Pa.; two daughters, Petey Hartung of Ruxton and Heidi Gordon of Owings Mills; seven grandchildren; and two great-grandchildren.