The local Ford dealership has been a well known component in Orange County for 50 years. David Self officially took over operations in 2007.

What began in 1963 has grown into one of the most prominent businesses in Orange and she will soon see major cosmetic changes. A ground-breaking ceremony held last week marked the beginning of construction for the dealership.

“It may not look like much, but we have several different projects going on simultaneously, starting with all the necessary cement and ground work before overall building construction begins,” said Zac Wilmore, director of advertising and business development for David Self Ford. “To the public, the first major change that will be seen will be the Brand New PreOwned building.”

An artist rendition of what the new David Self Ford buildings will look like. Construction is currently underway and should be completed in 2014. COURTESY PHOTO.

An artist rendition of what the new David Self Ford buildings will look like. Construction is currently underway and should be completed in 2014. COURTESY PHOTO.

Their main goal is to introduce a new Quicklane Service Department, which will provide a faster experience to new and existing customers who are in need for speedy service. Quicklane services all oil/filter changes, batteries, tires and any other quick service issues.

“This will allow us to further expand our existing service department to allow us to fully service all heavy duty vehicles,” Wilmore said. “The QuickLane and the expansion of our existing service department will provide a limitless amount of service that we will be able to provide to customers with all make and models.”

Other than major service department upgrades, they will also be completely renovating the showroom and delivery areas to provide a state-of-the art experience for all customers. This will include a fully enclosed, air conditioned delivery area that will be fully protected from the outside elements. A new parts area, business development area and two new relaxing customer waiting areas will be built as well.

Headed up by Ron Cleveland Construction, the construction on the two lots will cover around 42,000 square feet but should not affect any of the roads in the immediate vicinity.

This expansion will not only feature the latest Ford Design elements, but it will also provide the dealership the opportunity to double the amount of inventory to provide the best selection of Ford vehicles in the area. The expansion could also affect the number of employees at David Self Ford.

The old Wickersham dealership was opened in 1963. David Self took over the business in 2007. COURTESY PHOTO.

The old Wickersham dealership was opened in 1963. David Self took over the business in 2007. COURTESY PHOTO.

“We currently employee around 45, but with the expansion we are looking to significantly bump that number up,” sail Wilmore.

While the construction should be wrapped up by the second quarter of 2014, the David Self team has been granted the opportunity to bring Volkswagen back to the Lake Charles, La. market.

“This exciting new adventure has been a plan for David for the last couple of years,” said Wilmore. “We will simultaneously be in the building/launch process of a 30,000 square foot Volkswagen building during the renovation of the Ford store in Orange.”

So what will all these changes mean for new and existing customers?

“We have always been solely concerned with providing the best possible customer service to our customers,” said Wilmore. “We’ve prided ourselves in maintaining the great reputation that David has made for himself, and with these upgrades, we will raise the bar for our competitors to provide a better shopping experience other than Orange, Texas.”

A groundbreaking ceremony was held last week to mark the beginning of construction for David Self Ford. RECORD PHOTO: Larry Trimm.

About Nicole Gibbs

Editor of The Record Newspapers