Appalachian Oil Boom Means Big Business for Ohio Ford Dealership
Tri State Ford expanded into the commercial truck market last fall, has more expansion plans.
If there’s one thing that can make any business go from slow and steady to booming like there’s no tomorrow, it’s the oil industry. Whether it’s Alberta, North Dakota, or Texas, once the oil starts flowing, so does the economy. First come the oil workers from all over the country, then the big paychecks, then the need to spend them wherever they are. In turn, this leads the businesses to hire more people and move more goods.
Such a story is playing out right now in the Appalachian Plateau. Youngstown, Ohio newspaper The Business Journal reports the shale oil boom in Ohio, West Virginia, and Pennsylvania is helping Tri State Ford in the border town of East Liverpool, Ohio grow like never before. And all it took was an expansion into a new market at the right time.
Last November, Hill International Trucks bought Brand Ford to help the former break into the commercial truck market under the Blue Oval, rebranding itself as Tri State Ford. Since then, general manager Don Maltarich says the shale industry in the tri-state area “is really moving and there’s a lot of business for trucks right now.”
“We’ve had some expansion since we took over 10 months ago,” Maltarich says. “The main thing was to get into the commercial industry.”
Such expansion includes the inventory, which had gone from “35 to 40 new units and 20 used vehicles” to over 250 units split between new and used models. There have also been new hires “to every department,” according to Maltarich, new furniture and a lounge for customers to enjoy while picking up their new future welding rig, a bigger sales lot, a new detail shop, and an expanded parts and service counter. And it’s not going to stop there.
“We’ll be adding a drive-thru car wash service for our customers,” said Maltarich. He adds there will be a new service bay just for commercial vehicles, and his dealership is in a partnership with the NAPA Auto Parts stores in the area. And of course, being one of the few dealerships in town means it won’t be hurting for customers looking for Ford trucks and vans any time soon.