The owner of Hood River Ford expanded operations in his old neighborhood on Monday.
Steve Gaddis bought Hood River Dodge Chrysler Jeep from Bob Thomas, placing two of the community’s largest new and used car dealerships under one ownership.
But Gaddis, who has owned Hood River Ford since 1997, stressed that the businesses are not merging.
“They will be operated separately,” Gaddis said.
“This is just the opportunity to provide better selection for the Hood River marketplace. I know the area and I think it’s going to expand,” Gaddis said.
The two facilities’ proximity just blocks apart on 12th Street was not even a selling point, said Gaddis, a White Salmon, Wash., native who now lives in Vancouver, Wash.
However, Gaddis worked at Rosauers, across the street from the Ford dealership, between the ages of 16 and 21.
Gaddis hired a new Ford general manager, David Miller, in September, and announced that Treasa Hansen is the new general manager at the Dodge Chrysler Jeep dealership.
“Experience and knowledge,” is what Miller and Hansen bring to Hood River customers, Gaddis said.
Hansen, most recently affiliated with a Nissan dealership, is married and has two children. She has 21 years’ experience.
Miller, a father of two and former Marine, previously worked at Damerow Ford in Beaverton, and has more than 10 years in the business.
Gaddis said he plans to expand the inventory and selection at both facilities. He currently has about 200 new and used cars at Ford and about 150 at Chrysler.
He said some sales staff have left the Dodge Chrysler Jeep facility, but that the service and administration have remained intact. He employs 25 people at the Dodge Chrysler dealership and 40 at Hood River Ford.
Gaddis got his start selling vehicles at a Portland dealership in 1978 before buying his first car dealership in 1983.