Shift south planned for Ford-Hyundai
CAR lovers may have noticed some new faces in town, armed with plans to reinvigorate Grafton's Ford-Hyundai dealership.
Mighty River Automotive is undergoing a change of ownership, name and location and for new dealer principal Greg Russell, it's an exciting time.
“There are a few changes but we're moving with the times,” he said. “You'll find not many car dealerships these days are in the centre of town, they tend to be on the edge.”
The new dealership, to be called Clarence Valley Auto, is expected to shift over to Spring Street, South Grafton, across from McDonald's, in May, where the caravan arm of the business is located.
The move will bring together all arms of the business on the one site, including used and new vehicles, caravans and parts.
Mr Russell said the move would streamline the operation and make it a more efficient business.
“It's hard to run a separate operation over the bridge, there's a loss of production,” he said.
The dealership has been bought by the Toowoomba-based Black family, who owns 13 dealerships across Queensland and NSW, including Black Toyota in Grafton.
In the long term, Mr Russell said Clarence Valley Auto was expected to join Black Toyota at a dealership at a brand new South Grafton site some time in the next two years. For now though, the focus will be on rebranding the business and organising the relocation to South Grafton.
Mr Russell has a long history with the motor vehicle industry.
He has an accounting background and worked for three years at ACG Finance, but his heart belongs to the motor vehicle industry. By 21, he owned a Mazda franchise in Armidale and then spent 18 and half years with a Ford, Nissan, and Honda dealership in the Hunter Valley.
In 1994 he acquired Ballina Toyota, which he sold in August last year. Now, he has come out of semi-retirement to act as dealer principal and oversee the shift to South Grafton.
“It's very exciting, staff are excited about the move,” he said.