12/31/2008

Hi (Bye) Mom! - Gambino Ford Closing

Posted by MJ

The Buffalo News is reporting that Gambino Ford on Rt 78 in the town of Lockport is closing.

Gambino Ford in the Town of Lockport is closing, under a program Ford Motor Co. is using to consolidate its dealer network. The dealership, located at 6157 S. Transit Road, will probably close its doors next week, owner Patrick Gambino said Tuesday. “The offer was on the table for any dealer in the metro [Buffalo] area to raise his hand,” Gambino said. “They’d like to close more.” However, Gambino said the Ford incentives to sell a dealership are now off the table. Other area Ford dealers bought out the Gambino dealership, Ford corporate spokeswoman Marisa Bradley said. The terms were not disclosed.

Mr. Gambino has taken a Ford buyout offer under its dealership consolidation plan. For example Ford has 4,000 dealerships to Toyota's 1,000. Sales profits spread around 4X the number of dealers make for weaker dealers overall. Especially in today's world of consolidation and high volume - low per piece profit. I always expected some other Ford dealer would go first, like the one up by 78 and 104 since Lockport is a more central location. But I also thought Gambino could be one of them since the # of vehicles in the lot had drastically reduced since the late 90's/early 00's.

Gambino was the first dealer I ever noticed to give little tag lines in their adds. "...Come on down. Hi mom." At least 10 years before Mr. Fucillo brought his "Huuuuuugggggggeeeeea" to this part of the state. I bought my first vehicle from Gambino back in 1998 and it was my first experience in Lockport (living in Lancaster at the time). Heading to a mountain bike ride I swung in to look at a vehicle in the used lot. That '97 F150 4x4 gave me 155k miles before I sold it due to gas prices and some parts starting to wear out. 5 days of price dickering gave me an OK deal for my first ever vehicle loan. I miss that truck ;)


UPDATE: 01-06-09

Ki-Po, which operated on the old Gambino used car lot next door had recently cleared the lot out. The Buffalo News is reporting that Ki=Po has not closed the location and will decide to either move used vehicle operations back there, or open a yet to be named new care dealership on the site. I'm curious what brand they wold be considering? I'm also curious if Toyota will end up buying the Gambino property to expand their lot size and use the new-in-2000 Ford service center building for their own.

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