Longtime Lincoln dealer near Ford world headquarters closes
DETROIT -- Metropolitan Lincoln in suburban Detroit has closed down after more than 50 years in business, citing Ford Motor Co.'s move to discontinue the Mercury brand last year.
The dealership, in Garden City, Mich., originally was Stu Evans Lincoln Mercury. It became Metropolitan Lincoln Mercury in October 2006. The dealership is less than 9 miles from Ford headquarters in nearby Dearborn.
A statement on the dealership's Web site that was attributed to managing partner John Obeid said the loss of Mercury sales sent the dealership into a tailspin. The Mercury brand "accounted for about 70 percent of Metropolitan's new-vehicle sales," the statement said.
The closing of Lincoln dealerships has been expected after the move by Ford to discontinue Mercury in 2010. At the time, Ford executives said eliminating the Mercury brand was a necessary step for the company to focus its attention on fewer brands.
"We are honored to have served in Garden City and are deeply saddened to be closing the dealership," Obeid said in the statement. "Metropolitan's employees are outstanding people who have provided excellent service to our customers."
The dealership's ownership is working to find new positions for the roughly 90 employees, the statement said.
In the statement, Obeid listed the addresses of several nearby Ford and Lincoln dealers, recommending customers use those dealers instead.
The Garden City dealership was once part of the Stu Evans Automotive Group, founded in 1945 by former Detroit Red Wing Stu Evans and one of the oldest Lincoln-Mercury franchises in the nation.
For many years the Garden City location was Lincoln-Mercury's top-ranking dealership for new-car sales. In 2003, Stu Evan's Garden City Lincoln Mercury store was fourth in terms of new-car and truck sales, according to Ford.
Stu Evans died in 1996. His grandson, John Evans, became owner in 1993. In 2008, John Evans filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy in Florida.
You can reach Daniel Duggan at firstname.lastname@example.org.