EDITOR'S NOTE: This story originally incorrectly stated the number of new-car franchises near Egglefield Bros. Ford dealership sites in Elizabethtown and Ray Brook, N.Y. Adirondack Chevrolet, which was listed, also operates Adirondack Auto, a Chrysler-Dodge-Jeep franchise at the same location in Elizabethtown. Upstate Auto Service and Body Works, a Chrysler-Dodge-Jeep dealer in Saranac Lake, N.Y., is near the Egglefield site in Ray Brook.
Dennis Egglefield has two big tasks on his mind: planning a 100th anniversary bash for his upstate New York Ford dealership and preparing for a fifth generation of Egglefields to take over what great-grandpa Wilbur wrought in 1910.
Neither will be easy.
Egglefield, who is 61 and suffered his third heart attack in May, plans to turn things over to his sons Cory, 37, and Kent, 33, who are relative latecomers to the family business.
As is the case everywhere else, business has been lousy in the past year at Egglefield Ford, which is in the Adirondack Mountains. And that's on top of a customer base that has been eroding for years -- a byproduct of the local geography. In the past six years, one nearby dealership has closed.
Indeed, in the past decade, Dennis Egglefield has faced strategic dilemmas as difficult as anything his forebears had to cope with. But it looks as if he'll steer the dealership safely to its 100th anniversary because a few years back, he took a huge risk.