GRIMSBY, ONT. – Dealer Stephen Smalley had committed to reimaging his Forbes Ford dealership before the small town’s new Kia store started rising on land adjacent to his.
It just so happened that the timing made it look like he was trying to keep up with the Joneses – literally in this case as Vince Jones and his partner Tony Lefebvre own the Kia store.
“We have been on this spot since 1997 and it was time for some renovations,” Smalley said.
Implementing Ford’s Millennium image program, the sod was turned on the project in late July with the ribbon cutting expected in the first few weeks of January. Smalley said the bulk of the work focused on expanding the showroom by 600 square feet and cladding the exterior with rectangular white panels.
He did not reveal the cost of the renovation except that he was “heavily” invested.
Other additions included some work in the service and parts area that run in conjunction with changes to Ontario’s Drive Clean laws. He said the store no longer needs its dyno, meaning the service department will have a functional drive-thru area as it was originally intended.
The 16,000-square foot dealership boasts 16 service bays. He said they had added a truck shop to the back of the fixed ops department for service on Super Duties a few years ago.
“We put a focus on fleet sales and part of that is ensuring we can service them. We have a couple of diesel-trained techs.”
Forbes has been at its current location since 1997. Smalley’s father, Moore Forbes, started the dealership at a site down the road in 1984.
Why name it Forbes when the founder’s last name is Smalley? The first general manager was named Ian Forbes and consensus was that Forbes Ford sounded better than Smalley Ford.