Automobile

N.Y. dealer finds commercial niche

About 75 to 80 percent of the center’s customners are new, Mackey said. Some have come to the service center after being turned away from other Ford dealerships in the area because of a lack of equipment or interest in the job.

Mackey estimated about 90 percent of the vehicles being brought in for service, which ranges from routine maintenance to engine overhauls, are Ford vehicles.

The Adirondack Mountains, a popular upstate New York travel destination, are less than two hours north of Saratoga Springs. Mackey said the center attracts some of those travelers with campers and motor homes, which often are supplied with Ford engines, transmissions and chassis.

“We have customers that are traveling here from Binghamton, N.Y., [and up] by the Canadian border,” he said. “We have a company that’s based in New Hampshire that’s three hours from here that’s sending their entire fleet here.”

Other fleet customers include companies such as Best Buy and Frito-Lay, but also a home appliance repair company and local municipalities, Mackey said.

Mackey previously was vice president at New Country Motor Car Group before retiring from the group in 2019. In 2020, Mackey Auto bought a Chevrolet store in Middlebury, Vt., and acquired another Chevrolet dealership in Greenwich, N.Y., in December 2021.

The group sells about 200 new and used vehicles per month, Mackey said.

The commercial service center has nine employees, including six technicians. Mackey Auto has not been immune to the industrywide shortage of technicians, either.

“We could double the business we’re already doing here tomorrow if we had the techs,” Mackey said of the center, which takes in around 12 to 15 new repair orders a day.

Mackey described the business as a profitable niche and well worth the large investment.

“Mechanical labor gross is probably up on average $40,000 to $50,000 a month,” Mackey said. “Then you’ve got the parts on that also. We, for sure, have covered our nut and made some.”

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