Legacy Ford is the new owner of Ford of Walla Walla.
Legacy Ford, which has operations in Pasco and La Grande, Ore., will officially change the Walla Walla dealership's name to Legacy on Dec. 1, said Josh Dykes, who owns Legacy Ford with Tony Grover.
The company's latest acquisition will help it become the largest Ford dealer in Eastern Washington and Eastern Oregon in sales and service, Dykes said.
"We believe the Ford brand has a lot of value and Walla Walla is a good market," Dykes said. "It's part of our growth plan."
The former owners of the dealership weren't looking for a buyer, but Dykes said Legacy made them an offer that was hard to beat. He wouldn't, however, disclose the purchase price.
Sales have been good at Legacy Ford in the Tri-Cities, Dykes said. "We've grown market share for Ford."
And considering the tough economic situation in Oregon, the company's La Grande dealership, which has been open 12 years, also is doing OK, he said.
Dykes said Legacy will raise the bar on customer service at its newest dealership to better compete against other brands. The company is assessing the market and soon will decide if the Walla Walla dealership also will sell used cars, he said.
The Walla Walla store has 22 employees, all of whom are being asked to reapply for their jobs. It's not about downsizing but trying to find "the most qualified people," Dykes said.
w Pratik Joshi: 582-1541; firstname.lastname@example.org; Business Beat blog at www.tricityherald.com