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Without fanfare, one of Birmingham’s oldest family car dealerships, Adamson Ford, left us this past fall after 102 years in downtown Birmingham.
In October, Stivers Ford purchased the assets of Adamson Ford and was awarded the Ford franchise rights for the Birmingham area.
Recently, we met up with Eddie Stivers, the owner of Stivers Ford to learn more about his family-owned dealership and his future plans in the Magic City.
Third Generation Family Business
Much like Adamson Ford before it, Stivers Ford is one of those rare century old American family businesses.
The Stivers family have been in the automobile business since 1918 and proprietors of new vehicle franchises since 1930. Eddie and his brother John are third generation auto dealers.
In the state of Alabama, they own a popular Ford and Lincoln dealership in Montgomery and a Chrysler Dodge and Ram dealership in Prattville. The brothers also own a Subaru dealership in Atlanta and a Hyundai and Genesis dealership in Columbia, South Carolina.
A graduate of Vanderbilt University, Eddie has been a car dealer since he was 23 years old. He came to Alabama in 2009 when he bought a distressed Ford dealership in Montgomery. Since then, that Ford dealership has increased its annual sales from $27 million to $170 million in annual sales this year. The Capital City location is also a multiple President’s Award winner with Ford Motor Company which is given to the top dealerships in the nation.
“We are really excited to be in Birmingham,” said Stivers. “I’ve got a number of friends from Vanderbilt who are lifetime residents. We have always been envious of the market. We had an opportunity to engage the Israel family (the owners of Adamson Ford) in discussions to purchase the dealership and they were kind enough to sell us the assets of the business. It is a fantastic opportunity and a wonderful market.”
Stivers has big plans for the Birmingham market, but unfortunately the current historic location downtown is not large enough for his expansion plans. That’s why Stivers Ford, which does have a 3 year lease, plans to relocate their operations.
“We’ve identified a couple of suitable spots within the city limits and outside the city of Birmingham,” said Stivers. “We are hoping to work with Mayor Woodfin and the city council to maintain the business inside the city of Birmingham.”
Stivers plans on building a state of the art facility that is in excess of 85,000 square feet. The company intends to invest between $20-25 million.
“We look forward to more than doubling our employment in less than 24 months.” added Stivers. “In three years, we hope to create 150 new jobs.”
Stivers sees the relocation of the dealership as a win-win if they can stay within the city limits of Birmingham.
“If we can remain in the city of Birmingham it is a real win-win for the city. The Israel family will get the opportunity to redevelop the property downtown. If we can relocate in the city, we fully expect to exceed over $100 million in sales over the next two years. That will result in significant tax receipts for the city. The location we have identified in the city is a significant redevelopment opportunity that will take a blighted spot and reinvest in it.”
Meanwhile, the present downtown location is doing well.
“We are off to a great start. We sold as many Fords in the first two months we were in business as the previous dealership had sold in 9 months that they were in business.”
In the coming months Stivers Ford will make a decision on its new location. Follow Bham Now for updates.