By CRAIG FREILICH
POTSDAM – For the first time in more than half a century, Potsdam will be without a Ford dealership when Parkway Ford moves to Ogdensburg.
Parkway Ford, 157 Market St., is “being forced by Ford to move to a new location,” said sales manager David Zimmer, “because they want an upgraded facility.”
The dealership will be leaving leased space in Potsdam for the larger Ford-approved facility Parkway owns at 9890 State Route 37 Ogdensburg sometime in the next two months.
The Parkway group now sells Polaris and other recreational vehicles at that location.
“We were really limited by size,” Zimmer said, explaining that the move amounts to an expansion, with more inventory, larger service area and body shop, “and a better situation for the customer.”
Former owner Bob Scott sold the Ford dealership to Parkway Automotive Group in 2002 when Scott decided to semi-retire.
Scott had owned the Ford franchise for 39 years. In 1963, Scott purchased the Ford and Mercury dealership business from the Barstows, who currently operate Barstow Chevrolet and Subaru across the street.
Parkway first approached Scott about the possibility of selling in 2001, and both sides came to an agreement a few months later. Ford approved the transfer.
Scott then opened a used car dealership in town, Scott Auto Center, at 152 Market St., now owned by Larry Martin.
Parkway also owns an auto dealership on the Canton-Russell Road in Canton that sells Chrysler, Dodge, Chevrolet and Jeep vehicles. The dealerships also have parts and service operations.
The Parkway Group also includes several convenience stores in the North Country.