New owner takes the wheel at Hempfield Township dealership | News
HEMPFIELD TOWNSHIP — After picking up the Chrysler Dodge Jeep Ram in Greenville earlier this month, Andrew Sherman is making some changes.
“We’re going to be pouring millions of dollars into improvements here,” said Sherman, whose family bought the claim. With the purchase, from former owner Coy Price, the new dealership took on a new name.
Improvements planned over the next few years include a new facade and a cleaner interior.
Like almost everyone in car sales, it’s hard to keep track of inventory. But that will change, Sherman said. A batch of 35 new vehicles is expected in June.
“We will quickly post them on our website,” he added.
COVID-19 has created lean car inventories. A global shortage of computer chips has slowed production.
Taiwan is the biggest manufacturer of computer chips, which have huge responsibilities in the operation of cars such as their airbags, emissions, wiper motors and power steering.
In 2020, global production of light-duty vehicles, such as sedans, SUVs and pickup trucks, stood at 75 million, down from 89 million – a drop of more than 15% – in 2019, according to Barron’s magazine. Production remained roughly unchanged in 2021, creating meager supplies of used cars.
Adding more technicians is also underway for the dealership.
“And we’ll have vehicle lenders if we need to hold someone’s car,” Sherman said.
The family started in the automotive business over 50 years ago with the late Wayne Sherman, Andrew’s grandfather.
Now led by patriarch Steven Sherman, Andrew’s father, the family also owns Lakeview Ford in Conneaut, Ohio, Dean Honda in Pleasant Hills near Pittsburgh, and Pre-owned Cars by the Dean in West Mifflin, also near Pittsburgh. Other family members are also involved in the business.
Looking at the regional market, Sherman said about 60% of Lakeview Ford’s sales are pickup trucks.
“And we expect to have a lot of pickup truck sales here,” Sherman said of the Hempfield Township dealership.
The concessionaire will add closed bays to the building, so that customers no longer have to deal with bad weather.
“We want people to have an enjoyable experience here,” Sherman said.