Ford dealerships in Arcade, Gowanda close after decades of sales

Two Ford dealerships that have been selling vehicles for decades, in Arcade and Gowanda, have closed their doors and combined their operations with Emerling Ford in Springville.

Gowanda Ford and Pioneer Ford closed last Friday, said Carl Emerling, who owned both of those locations, as well as the Springville dealership. The closed dealerships’ inventory of vehicles is being transferred to the Springville location.

Emerling said supply chain issues during the pandemic that made new vehicles hard to come by was a major factor in the decision to consolidate.

“When you’re not getting the new vehicles in, you’re not getting the [used vehicle] trades in, and there’s a spiral-down effect,” he said. Emerling acquired the Gowanda dealership in 2000 and the Arcade dealership in 2005.

The closings resulted in the loss of nearly 40 jobs. Emerling said each of the two closed dealerships had 25 employees, and he tried to place as many of them as possible in jobs with Emerling Ford in Springville or with Emerling Chrysler Dodge Jeep Ram, also in Springville.

People are also reading…

“That was really the hardest part, because our employees are very dedicated, and we had good customer satisfaction scores at both stores,” he said.

About a dozen employees were placed in jobs at the two dealerships, Emerling said. Some others chose to retire or leave the auto-sales business.

The closings also subtract dealerships from less-populated parts of Western New York where new-vehicle dealerships are few, compared to high-traffic corridors in Buffalo suburbs where a host of dealerships and brands operate side by side.

“That was a hard pill to swallow also, not just for our employees,” Emerling said. “Over the years, we’ve had a lot of dedicated and really good customers, and that is making the whole process that much harder.”

Nick Crassi, president of the Gowanda Area Chamber of Commerce, said the dealership’s closing is a loss for residents and the business community.

“They were always a huge supporter of this whole area and they’re going to be greatly missed,” Crassi said. “I can already tell you I miss them, big time.”

The dealership gave residents a nearby option for buying and servicing their vehicles, he said.

“We’re a community with elderly people and they relied on Gowanda Ford to pick up their cars and service them and bring them back to them,” Crassi said.

Gowanda Ford was formerly known as Purdy Ford. Howard A. Purdy founded the business in 1967 and owned and operated it until the sale 23 years ago.

The dealership most recently known as Pioneer Ford is an Arcade business that lasted nearly a century. Roy Yule started a Ford agency in 1925, and operated it until selling the business to Bruce Lesswing in 1953. Through subsequent ownership changes, the business was known as Cramer Ford, Tri-County Ford, and, finally, Pioneer Ford.

At its end, the Arcade dealership was one of the oldest Ford dealerships operating in the state, said Jeff Mason, the village of Arcade’s historian.

Emerling Ford plans to deploy two mobile service vans to provide some types of vehicle service in the two markets where the dealerships closed, Emerling said.

The contents of the two closed dealerships will be auctioned in February, and then the two buildings will be put up for sale.

Matt Glynn

#lee-rev-content { margin:0 -5px; } #lee-rev-content h3 { font-family: inherit!important; font-weight: 700!important; border-left: 8px solid var(–lee-blox-link-color); text-indent: 7px; font-size: 24px!important; line-height: 24px; } #lee-rev-content .rc-provider { font-family: inherit!important; } #lee-rev-content h4 { line-height: 24px!important; font-family: “serif-ds”,Times,”Times New Roman”,serif!important; margin-top: 10px!important; } @media (max-width: 991px) { #lee-rev-content h3 { font-size: 18px!important; line-height: 18px; } }

#pu-email-form-buffalo-next-article { clear: both; background-color: #fff; color: #222; background-position: bottom; background-repeat: no-repeat; padding: 15px 0 20px; margin-bottom: 40px; border-top: 4px solid rgba(0,0,0,.8); border-bottom: 1px solid rgba(0,0,0,.2); } #pu-email-form-buffalo-next-article, #pu-email-form-buffalo-next-article p { font-family: -apple-system, BlinkMacSystemFont, “Segoe UI”, Helvetica, Arial, sans-serif, “Apple Color Emoji”, “Segoe UI Emoji”, “Segoe UI Symbol”; } #pu-email-form-buffalo-next-article h2 { font-size: 24px; margin: 15px 0 5px 0; font-family: “serif-ds”, Times, “Times New Roman”, serif; } #pu-email-form-buffalo-next-article .lead { margin-bottom: 5px; } #pu-email-form-buffalo-next-article .email-desc { font-size: 16px; line-height: 20px; margin-bottom: 5px; opacity: 0.7; } #pu-email-form-buffalo-next-article form { padding: 10px 30px 5px 30px; } #pu-email-form-buffalo-next-article .disclaimer { opacity: 0.5; margin-bottom: 0; line-height: 100%; } #pu-email-form-buffalo-next-article .disclaimer a { color: #222; text-decoration: underline; } #pu-email-form-buffalo-next-article .email-hammer { border-bottom: 3px solid #222; opacity: .5; display: inline-block; padding: 0 10px 5px 10px; margin-bottom: -5px; font-size: 16px; } @media (max-width: 991px) { #pu-email-form-buffalo-next-article form { padding: 10px 0 5px 0; } }