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Langdale Ford Company
by Chamber News on April 19th, 2013

In the spring of 1963, the Office Manager of Ellinor Motor Co, the Ford Dealership for Valdosta, heard that the business was possibly for sale. Mr. J. Carol Sherwood approached his friends, the Langdales, to ask if they would be interested in forming a partnership with him to purchase the business. In April 1963 Langdale Ford was created with the partnership of Mr. Sherwood, Harley Langdale Jr., John W. Langdale and William P.
Langdale. They were officially awarded the Ford franchise in May 1963 and opened for business.
 
Carol Sherwood was the operating partner and General Manager, and he performed in that capacity until 1986 when he decided to retire. He sought a prospect to buy him out and finally sold his interest to William Laskey a former NFL football player who had been in the car business since his football years. Mr. Laskey was the Manager until 1992 when Stephen A. Everett was recruited by the Langdale family to replace Mr. Laskey, who had left the business. Mr. Everett, with the Langdale Company bought out the original Langdale brothers and became Vice President and General Manager. He still performs those duties today, and for more than 50 years the business has had only three General Managers.
 
Originally, Langdale Ford was located on West Central Ave. in what is now the Western Auto store. The business had several satellite lots around downtown to house trucks, used vehicles and excess inventory. The partners immediately made plans for a new facility, and in early 1965, they moved to their new building and location on the corner of Oak and Magnolia streets in downtown Valdosta.
 
Today the business is still committed to serving downtown and is the last car dealership to remain in that location. Customers who frequent Langdale Ford for service, maintenance and sales find that it is convenient to most places of employment such as City, County and State Government offices, Industrial Parks, the Valdosta Mall area and local retail businesses. Customers continue to ask that they remain downtown, and Langdale Ford will continue to honor their customers request for the near future. In fact, Langdale Ford is planning a major renovation this year, which will further solidify their commitment to remaining downtown.
 
In 1996, Langdale Ford purchased the buildings diagonally across the street that once housed a grocery store and a chain drug store, expanding their facilities. This building was remodeled to house all Pre Delivery and Detail operations inside. The front portion was expanded to house the growing used vehicle operation that was so cramped in the original facility. The expansion was named Langdale's Used Car and Truck Super Center, which aptly describes the vast inventory and resources dedicated to this growing part of the industry.
 
The original facility was remodeled in the mid 1990’s to bring both the image up to date and to help with the growing volume of new car and truck sales. New offices were added, the Parts and Service Departments were expanded and the display lot was resurfaced. Today the facility is positioned to handle all facets of a successful New Car and Truck Dealership, including sales, service, parts and collision repair.
 
As the assigned franchised dealer for all Ford Car and Truck products, Langdale Ford has had a tremendous working relationship with Ford Motor Co. for almost half of their years in existence. As the industry has been turned upside down through business cycles, recessions, oil shortages and bankruptcies, Ford Motor Co. has not only survived but thrived. The company is in the best possible financial position ever at this time and is admired by its rivals for its ability to maintain and grow market share in the face of fierce competition.
 
Ford products have an incredible history, dating all the way back to the original Model T. Ford cars and trucks that have touched most families and companies at some time in their life. Almost every person has a fond memory of a particular model. Ford has continued the tradition in recent years with state of the art products that are well positioned for the current market. Ford vehicles are safer and more technologically advanced than most cars and trucks offered today. In addition, they offer the most fuel efficient lineup in the industry. Ford cars and trucks either lead or tie every segment in the market with regards to fuel mileage. A sneak peak at the future tells of great styling, even more technology and alternate fuels with an emphasis towards electrification.
 
Together, Ford Motor Co. and Langdale Ford are well positioned to take on the ever demanding automotive market. As the Ford Dealer for over 50 years, Langdale Ford feels that it is ready for the next 50 years, as well.



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