Ford dealer buys Dodge dealership
Glenwood Springs’ Dodge dealership, Rey Motors Inc., sold June 30 to a group of investors led by Jeff Carlson, president of Glenwood Springs Ford.Carlson, who also owns Summit Ford in Silverthorne, and one of his general managers, Steve Nilsson, had been looking for another dealership in Glenwood Springs, but hadn’t focused their search. The Dodge store, “just ended up being a relationship that worked,” said Carlson. Jeannie and Ernest Rey had owned the store since the 1970s, and Jeannie was nearing retirement age, he said. The relationship between Ford and Dodge dealerships is a bit curious because the dealerships will likely help each other and compete. “It makes sense to us because of the product (at both stores) being influenced heavily by trucks,” said Carlson. On the other hand, “we’re actually going to be competing against ourselves,” he said. Carlson is quick to point out that the Ford dealership and Dodge dealership are completely separate corporations. Competition is good for the consumer and good for the dealer, he said. The competition – not only between the Ford and Dodge stores, but also with Chevy, GMC, Honda, Nissan and others – helps keeps prices low, which brings more car buyers into the market, said Carlson. One company or individual owning multiple dealerships is nothing new in Glenwood Springs. Berthod Motors, for example, sells the Pontiac, GMC, Jeep and Buick brands.”Competition is always a good thing,” said Don Gerbaz, general manager of Berthod. He added, speaking about Carlson and Nilsson, “it’s good to compete against guys you can respect.”There will be some changes for the new Glenwood Springs Chrysler Dodge. The store is looking to move from its current Sixth Street location and bring in more cars in addition to trucks, said general manager Tim Bergman, who had worked at Glenwood Springs Ford for 11 years. “This is a truck market, and that’s what Dodge is known for,” he said. “But they’ve got some exciting new car product we’re bringing in as well.”With consumers often aligning themselves behind one of the major American truck manufacturers for a lifetime, one has to wonder about how Carlson feels about owning a brand he’s competed with for decades. “It’s not emotional, it’s business,” he said. “It’s another way for me to develop more people, which is what I like to do.”
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