The old Meridian Ford dealership is getting more employees and will get more car display space and a quick-lube center now that is has been purchased by Kendall Automotive Group.
Kendall, which has dealerships in Idaho, Oregon, Montana and Alaska, kept nearly all the employees of Meridian Ford, a total of 65 people. It has added 10 more mechanics, detail workers and sales people. The company expects to add up to 35 more workers over the next couple of year, said Dave Blewett, president of Kendall, which is headquartered in Boise.
The dealership, now called Kendall Ford of Meridian, is at 250 E. Overland Road. Kendall bought the dealership for an undisclosed amount a couple of months ago from Larry Chetwood, who had owned the company since 1979.
Meridian is one of the strongest markets in the state for used cars, and the region shows strong demand for Ford products, especially for trucks, Blewett said. Monthly vehicle sales reported by the Idaho Statesman consistently show Ford as the top-selling brand in southwest Idaho, led largely by the automakers trucks.
Meridian Ford is located between two other Ford dealerships: Lithia Ford in Boise and Dan Wiebold Ford in Nampa. Wiebold Ford is often listed in monthly sales reports as the top seller of vehicles in Southwest Idaho.
Besides hiring more employees, Kendall Automotive Group expects to finish paving a 2.5-acre section of dealership land facing Overland Road by fall to expand sales space. It plans to build a sales office by fall 2013 and add the quick-lube center in late 2013.
Kendall has 15 locations, including two in Lewiston. Among the brands it sells are Ford, Chevrolet, Subaru, Jeep, Chrysler and Dodge.
Blewett said Kendall is not pursuing any other dealerships in the area.
Bill Roberts: 377-6408