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Jack Adkins Ford dealership to close Saturday

Jack Adkins Ford is closing its doors Saturday, as Ford Motor Co. follows through with its pledge to trim its dealerships nationwide.

The South Buffalo dealership, located on Abbott Road and Dorrance Avenue, already shuttered its service department as of Dec. 18, and is now trying to unload its remaining cars.

The dealership has about 120 cars on its lot, with another 65 that are already slated for delivery after Jan. 1. Anything left over after the dealer closes will be divided up among West Herr Ford of Hamburg, Towne Ford in Orchard Park, DeLacy Ford in Elma, Basil Ford in Cheektowaga and Jim Doyle Ford in Kenmore.

"We're wrapping up the month as a normal month, selling what we can," said sales manager Pat Riter. "We've done such a good job this week."

Most of the 60 employees have already found other jobs at the five other Ford dealers, leaving only a handful uncertain as to their destination, Riter said. "We're placing staff wherever we possibly can," he said. "The Ford stores in the area have been very, very good about picking them up."

Ford, the nation's No. 2 carmaker, has been struggling to reverse its fortunes and financials. Its dealer profits fell an average of 10 percent in the first half of 2006.

The company announced a new restructuring plan, known as Way Forward, that includes a reduction in its 4,300 dealerships in 18 metropolitan areas.

Jack Adkins' closure is the first locally to result from the restructuring.

Ford offered Adkins a buyout as an incentive to close, Riter said. The five other local Ford dealers also kicked in money to strengthen the incentive, he added, as they seek to capture some of Adkins' market share of 13.6 percent. Adkins is fourth in sales in the market this year among Ford dealers, and No. 2 for this month.

"It was a perfect opportunity for Jack to sell," Riter said.

Jack Adkins Ford occupies three corners of the intersection for its resale center, truck center and main building. Benderson Development is buying the property in a separate deal, Riter said.

e-mail: jepstein@buffnews.com

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