Hutchinson Ford, formerly Trophy Ford, opened its doors in Forsyth on Wednesday, May 29 and is ready to welcome shoppers into its showroom to see its large inventory and meet its knowledgeable sales staff. The new owners have backgrounds of experience in the automotive industry and connections with Monroe County and Middle Georgia that will serve the needs of local customers.
Partners Forest Hutchinson, Michael Hutchinson, Bryan Tiller and John Joyner are excited about the opportunities for a Ford dealership in Forsyth. The Hutchinson brand is expanding from its dealership in Macon, which is now 12 years old, and its location in Albany to include Forsyth. The partners bought the former Trophy Ford facility at 288 Harold G. Clarke Parkway, near I-75 Exit 185.
Along with major improvements to the facility, the partners are bringing in new inventory, new personnel and a new image of customer service and a large selection of vehicles.
Michael Hutchinson said October will mark 13 years since he and his brother, Forest, opened Hutchinson Auto Mall, a Buick, Cadillac, GMC, Kia dealership, in Macon.
“We love Middle Georgia. We have been talking with Bryan for three years about opening another dealership,” said Michael. “We believe we will bring excellent sales and service to Forsyth.”
He said they also plan to bring jobs to Monroe County as the dealership grows and they add more mechanics, sales staff and other personnel. They are also looking forward to supporting the community as they have at their dealerships in Macon and Albany.
Michael and Forest are brothers, and John is their cousin. Bryan is a long-time friend.
Bryan is the partner who plans to be in Forsyth six days per week. He has lived in Bolingbroke for 19 years and has a son who attends Mary Persons. He said he grew up in the car business, including working at Riverside Ford. He graduated from Mercer University law school, practiced law in Macon and was Forsyth’s Municipal Court judge for a while. After being out of the car business for the last eight years, he found himself with a desire to get back into it and grabbed the chance to help give Monroe County something that he sees it needs.
“Why drive when you have an alternative in Forsyth?” asked Bryan. “Come by and see the changes we’re making. There’s a new attitude, a new customer-based approach.”
Forest is also a graduate of Mercer University law school and lives in Macon, and Michael Hutchinson is a Mercer University graduate. Vernon Wood of Macon is the new general sales manager. He has 35 years experience with Ford.
“We have deep Middle Georgia roots,” said Bryan.
New sales hours are 9 a.m.-7 p.m., Monday-Friday and 9 a.m.-6 p.m. on Saturday. Hutchinson Ford in Forsyth will have an expanded internet presence, including a new website by June 10. The Service Department will also soon expand its service hours, including opening at 7:30 a.m. so that customers can leave their cars before they head to work. Used car inventory will be available from all Hutchinson locations, giving customers a much larger selection of used vehicles.
In Albany, the Hutchinsons have Kia and Toyota dealerships. The Forsyth store is their first Ford dealership, and they are excited about what Ford is bringing to the showroom.
Bryan said that although the F-150 is still the backbone of Ford vehicles, there are lots of new models of Fords making their debut. He invites everyone from Monroe County and the surrounding area to visit Hutchinson Ford in Forsyth to see what Ford has to offer.
Vehicles are the family business for all four partners. Forest and Michael’s dad owned over 27 new car franchises during his 30 years in the business, taking his family with him around the Southeast as he operated dealerships. John is the “third brother” in the family. Bryan’s dad worked at Riverside Ford in Macon for 27 years. Michael worked at two dealerships in Jacksonville, Fla. until the opportunity in Macon came available.
John said the car business is a people business, and with new ownership that is present at the Forsyth dealership and involved in the community the potential for growth is exciting.
“We will take on a more personal role,” said John. “We want to know our customers and know our employees. We’re growing and can take care of any needs, especially with the resources of our other dealerships.”
Forest explained that if a customer finds a used car of interest at one of the other dealerships, it will be easy to bring it to Forsyth for the customer to drive.
“Our model is to create customers for life,” said John.