OSKALOOSA –After a phone call from Joe Clemons inquiring about their interest in owning another dealership, Clemons of Oskaloosa is now owned and operated by the owners of Kraig Ford Inc. in Oskaloosa.
The purchase took place Thursday evening and new owners, Craig Ford and Ross Knobbe, could not be more excited about expanding their business. General Manager and Co-Owner of Kraig Ford Inc. Ross Knobbe said it was the sensible thing to do.
“It just made sense,” Knobbe said. “Together Craig and I own Kraig Ford here in town and then [Craig] owns all of Pella Motors which is in Pella, so from a market standpoint it was perfect.”
With a total of 30 years in the dealership between the two, Ford said they have big plans for the newly acquired dealership, as well as the community.
“It feels good to increase our footprint,” Ford said. “We’re going to be bringing good, high paying jobs into Oskaloosa. We’re going to be generating tax revenue for the county, for the school systems. It feels good to be a productive part of your community and this is just the beginning, we’ve got big plans for this store. We expect to grow it and that’s what we are going to do.”
From sales jobs to technician jobs, Ford and Knobbe said the community can expect to see 10 new jobs within the next 90 days. Ford and Knobbe are both Mahaska County residents who consider community and ownership involvement to be extremely important to them. Knobbe said in addition to the increase in jobs, there will also an ownership involvement and community investment.
“We’re at the dealerships every day,” he said. “And nothing against Clemens, they just have dealerships in other parts of the state, [so] those owners were never here. This just allows us to be [here], we’re really big into wanting to be a part of this community by investing in this community and taking care of people in this community.”
The two plan to continue operating both dealerships as separate dealerships, with no intentions of combining the locations. Over the course of the next few days, the new owners plan to spend time learning more about their newly acquired facility, the employees and what’s needed.
“We’re gonna analyze what we have,” Ford said. “We want to get to know our employees and then we expect to increase our used cars and new cars that we have available for customers. We’re going to spend more money on advertising. We’re going to invest heavily in personnel and people in our community. What equipment do we need to buy? What training do we need to instill? We want to figure out what plans to put in place to improve in every single area that we can improve to constantly get better as a business.”
For anyone who has purchased a vehicle of any make or model that is still under warranty, Ford and Knobbe said they are still honoring those warranties, as they are manufacturer warranties.
“Matter of fact anybody that bought a car somewhere else that has warranty, we will honor those warranties as well,” he said. “If you’ve got a warranty on your car and we have the manufacturer, we will honor that.”
Knobbe said the long term goal for the pair is to always provide lifelong customer service that people can always trust and rely on.
“We just want to build a relationship with the community and our customers,” he said. “We want to provide long term, lifelong customer service where people know that they can trust us and rely on us to do what’s right and do it right the first time.”