One of Prince Rupert’s well-known car dealerships will be closing its doors at the end of August.
Port City Ford, a dealership within the Terrace Totem Ford Auto Group, is set to close down on Aug. 31, affecting approximately a dozen employees at the Prince Rupert location.
“It was with heavy hearts that we were forced to essentially make this decision,” said Terrace Totem Auto Group dealer principal and partner Shane deJong.
“This is the toughest business decision that myself and the other two partners (Kevin Kennedy and Mitch Shinde) have had to make in 15 years of owning the Terrace Totem Ford Auto Group … It’s not what we wanted to do. We wanted to continue doing business in Prince Rupert.”
One of the biggest reasons for the closure is because of the mandate by Ford Motor Company to keep all dealership buildings at a base minimum standard of operations, which includes a frontal exterior with a towered entrance, composed of a compound called Alucobond, which is a composite panel consisting of two aluminum cover sheets and a plastic core.
It’s estimated that the required upgrades to the Port City Ford location would cost approximately $500,000 in renovations, stated deJong.
“Ford is requiring us to do half a million dollars in renovations to the building or shut it down and we couldn’t justify the expense,” deJong said, noting that Terrace Totem does not own the building in question.
The partners want to ensure that customers of Port City Ford can rely on the organization to provide them with information concerning vehicle servicing.
“We want to ensure that all of our customers in Prince Rupert and [Haida Gwaii] know that we will provide instruction on how they can get warranty work and things done in Terrace in the coming months,” said deJong.