Ford dealership changes hands

New lease agreement would keep S.F.’s S&C Ford open for at least one more year

Ford Motor Co. (F) and South City Motors Inc. are working on a leasing deal that will allow San Francisco’s only Ford dealership to remain open at its same location for at least a year.

As reported by The Examiner on Tuesday, S&C Motors Inc. head Ray Siotto submitted the resignation of his S&C Ford franchise dealership earlier this autumn, issuing Nov. 19 layoff notices to his staff of 89 and selling the dealership building at 2001 Market St. to three companies tied to Hayward developer Joseph Felson.

Ford spokesman John Clinard said Tuesday the S&C Ford franchise and its assets were purchased by South City Motors Inc., and the two companies are working out a yearlong lease with the developer with options to extend.

“It should allow us to continue business uninterrupted at the location, but with new management,” Clinard said. “The dealership is not closing.”

The acquisition is a major expansion for South City Motors Inc., a South San Francisco firm owned since June 2005 by the CT Corp. System of Los Angeles, a group of investors.

South City Motors operates South City Ford on Airport Boulevard in South San Francisco, a 35-employee shop that plans on 360 new cars and trucks sold this year, South City Motors President Mark Arena said.

S&C Ford, by contrast, sells roughly 2,500 new cars and trucks a year, Clinard said. S&C Ford was founded in 1946.

“It’s a tremendous opportunity for us, to have a fully-functioning, fully-staffed, profit-making company is great for us,” Arena said. “We’re excited to have it.”

The company will retain the S&C Ford name and plans on re-hiring much of the staff, Arena said. Interviews begin today, he said. South City Motors will also be operating S&C Ford’s service center at 211 Industrial St.

While the lease does have options to extend, Ford is exploring other locations in the event that the new owner decides to redevelop the 2001 Market St. property. No permits to do so have been filed yet with The City, according to San Francisco Planning Department staff members.

Calls to the Joseph Felson’s Felson Cos. Inc. were not returned by press time. A staff member there referred calls Monday to The Prado Group, a San Francisco developer. Calls to The Prado Group were also not returned.

kwilliamson@examiner.com

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