Glockner family adds former Beford South Point dealership to fold

from Jean Tarberr Hardman The Herald-Dispatch October 13, 2013

They started in 1847, six generations ago, when Bernard Glockner started selling hardware, bicycles and buggies. In 1912, Glockner's sons opened a Chevrolet dealership. Over the past 100 years, they built a name as the Portsmouth-based Glockner Family of Dealerships. And as of this month, they became the owners of South Point Ford in Lawrence County, having purchased the dealership from the Beford family.

The dealer principal in South Point is now Tim Glockner, the eldest of five Glockner children in his family, three of whom have gone into the family business. Brothers Joe and Mike are partners in the faith-based family business as well.

The Glockner family owns 11 dealerships across mostly southern Ohio, but this will be its first Ford dealership.

"We've had our eye on Ford for years," Tim Glockner said. "(Connie and Mark Beford are retiring), but we've retained Mark as a consultant, and he's going to be a personal coach for me.

"...Ford has the highest owner loyalty in the industry, and we thought that would complement what we're doing and not compete with what we're doing."

Plus, the team at South Point Ford -- who all will be retaining their jobs -- have an impressive record of success, he said.

"It's a three-time Presidents Award winner dealership," he said, referring to the highest award that Ford presents to dealerships that exceed expectations in terms of customer satisfaction, sales and efficiency. "They are green standard in every category. We knew that. We've been watching their success five or six years. No matter how good leadership is -- which is where it starts -- it has a winning team. We were so impressed with that winning team and how they do business."

Plus Glockner liked that it was a family-oriented business with a team atmosphere, said Tim Glockner, who is also vice president of sales operations for all 11 car dealerships.

Glockner dealerships are located in Portsmouth, Rosemount, Chesapeake, Waverly, Jackson, Wheelersburg, Carroll, Chillicothe, Cincinnati, Columbus and now South Point. Adding the "Blue Oval" brand to its lineup, Glockner franchises include Chevrolet, Buick, Cadillac, GMC, Honda and Toyota along with seven secondary finance lots for the credit challenged. Presently, the Glockner Family of Dealerships employs more than 300 locally and has more than 700 vehicles in stock.

Last year, the Glockner family celebrated the 100th anniversary of selling Chevy vehicles, after buying the first from William Durant.

"Chevy last year named us the longest lasting Chevy dealers in the country," Tim Glockner said.

He had other business history he was proud to report as well: His grandfather, Ebby Glockner, was the TIME magazine dealer of the year for the country in 1984. He nominated his dad, Andy Glockner, this year.

As for the family's new Ford dealership, they're already making plans.

"We're a faith-based, family company. We care about our customers and our employees, and we want to be involved in the communities in which we do business," Tim Glockner said. "The goal at the South Point store is ... facility upgrades -- it's a total redesign. That gives the customer a better experience, and it helps retain good people and attract employees when we're looking to grow. We keep growing. We're looking to grow all the time.

"We have a used car store in Chesapeake, and we're moving that to South Point, just down the street from the Ford store, within the next two months."

Previous owners Mark and Connie Beford said choosing the Glockner family to carry on their business was the right decision.

"Connie and I care so much for our employees, customers and community. We wanted to ensure that the new owners would have similar values and dedication to serve others," Mark Beford said in a release. "We knew the Glockner family would be the perfect fit."