A new Ford dealership will open in Juneau next month after a three-year absence.
The Stanley Auto Family – headquartered in the Kenai Peninsula – is setting up shop at the site of the former Ford dealership on Mallard Street, which closed in 2009.
The property is now owned by Alaska Glacier Seafoods. But the company will lease the parking lot to Stanley, and the old Boys and Girls Club building down the street will become a small showroom and six-bay service department.
Kevin Lauver is Director of Dealerships for Stanley Auto. He says the company is already looking for a permanent location in Juneau.
“The location that we’re at is temporary in that in the next 24 to 36 months we’re planning on building a brand new dealership down here and our Mallard Street location will become Driven Auto Body at some point as we transition into that,” Lauver says.
Stanley Auto Family already has a presence in Juneau, as the operator of Budget Car Rentals statewide. Stanley owns the Ford dealership in Kenai; Chrysler, Dodge and Jeep in Soldotna; and a Nissan dealership in Fairbanks. It also owns five Driven Auto Body shops in Anchorage, the Kenai Peninsula and Fairbanks.
Lauver says Stanley Ford already has hired a number of Juneau residents to work for the new dealership.
“We’ve recruited some pretty good people locally, most of them to run it. And we’re going to be running some ads, we’re going to be hiring,” he says. “In our ads that are going to break next week we’re going to be offering people a chance to pre-order a new Ford. The way Ford works you have to order a vehicle two months in advance, and we actually have cars that are built and are headed this direction.”
Juneau’s last Ford dealer, Skinner Sales and Service, abruptly closed its doors in Juneau, Sitka, and Ketchikan three years ago. As many as 50 people were laid off and thousands of customers were initially left without Ford service.
Commercial realtor Carlton Smith was hired then by First Bank of Ketchikan to market the property.
“And we sought all along to explain to Ford franchisees that Juneau has strong economic fundamentals and the previous operator failed for many reasons, but Juneau was not to blame. In other words, our economy was strong and there should be no reason why Ford shouldn’t come back into Juneau,” Smith says.
Stanley Auto’s Lauver says the new Juneau dealership will be selling vehicles by early October.