Make us your home page
Instagram

Ernie Haire Ford sold at auction to Tampa dealer with Michigan roots

The dealership’s new name will likely be Ford of Tampa Bay.

ZACH BOYDEN-HOLMES | Times

The dealership’s new name will likely be Ford of Tampa Bay.

Tampa's Ernie Haire Ford was sold at auction Monday morning to a Tampa Saab and Jaguar dealer with roots in Michigan.

Elder Automotive Group said it plans to keep about 80 percent of Haire's 100 employees when it takes over the dealership on N Florida Avenue in October.

The new name will probably be Ford of Tampa Bay. It's Elder's fourth Ford dealership and its first in Florida.

"The Haire family has done a great job. We're inheriting a lot of great customers," said Richard Elder, who co-owns the Troy, Mich., business with his brother and mother. "We'll try to keep as many employees in place as possible."

Founded in 1970, Haire was for many years one of the state's most prolific Ford dealers. The company filed for bankruptcy in November, a victim of the automotive slump and a $6.9 million class action lawsuit for overcharging customers for window etching.

Elder bid the most for Haire during an hourlong bankruptcy auction Monday in the federal courthouse in downtown Tampa.

Though the formal bid was $3.5 million — the amount needed to cover debts from unsecured creditors — Elder expects to pay close to $8 million for the dealership. Elder edged out two other bidders: Northgate Lincoln-Mercury and Crown Automotive.

Through months of bankruptcy hearings, creditors made $36 million in claims against Haire, most of which have been paid. Thanks to the auction, the dealership expects to pay off most of its remaining debts before going out of business. That pleased Haire treasurer Todd Hodges.

"It was better than we expected," Hodges said. "It was a very spirited auction."

Elder is buying Haire's franchise, equipment and remaining cars outright. It will acquire the land through a multiyear lease-to-own deal.

The $400 million company with 12 dealerships is one of Michigan's largest auto retailers.

Ernie Haire Ford sold at auction to Tampa dealer with Michigan roots 08/17/09 [Last modified: Monday, August 17, 2009 9:06pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. SeaWorld shares drop Monday to 2017 low after disclosure of federal subpoena

    Tourism

    The Orlando parent company of SeaWorld and Busch Gardens theme parks saw its stock drop 3.5 percent Monday to $15.10, its lowest price of this year.

    Killer whales perform at Shamu Stadium at SeaWorld in Orlando in 2011, before public pressure was placed on the theme park company to curtail its orca shows.SeaWorld has since announced an end to the traditional killer whale entertainment  at its theme parks. [AP Photo/Phelan M. Ebenhack]
  2. Rick Scott appoints longtime ally Jimmy Patronis as Florida CFO

    State Roundup
    Rick Scott appoints Jimmy Patronis (background) as CFO. [STEVE BOUSQUET | Tampa Bay Times]
  3. Local gas prices plummet as Fourth of July holiday travel approaches

    Tourism

    TAMPA — Local gas prices are enjoying an unseasonal dip around the $2 mark just in time for the hectic Fourth of July holiday travel weekend.

    The price of regular unleaded gasoline has dropped to $1.99 at a Rally station on Pasadena Ave. South and Gulfport Boulevard South, South Pasadena.
[SCOTT KEELER   |   Times]

  4. Air bag recalls, lawsuits lead Takata to file for bankruptcy

    Autos

    Shattered by recall costs and lawsuits, Japanese air bag maker Takata Corp. filed Monday for bankruptcy protection in Tokyo and the U.S., saying it was the only way it could keep on supplying replacements for faulty air bag inflators linked to the deaths of at least 16 people.

    Japanese air bag maker Takata Corp. CEO Shigehisa Takada bows during a press conference in Tokyo on Monday. Takata has filed for bankruptcy protection in Tokyo and the U.S., overwhelmed by lawsuits and recall costs related to its production of defective air bag inflators.
[(AP Photo/Shizuo Kambayashi]
  5. Airbag maker Takata bankruptcy filing expected in Japan, U.S.

    Corporate

    DETROIT — Japanese airbag maker Takata Corp. has filed for bankruptcy protection in Tokyo and the U.S., overwhelmed by lawsuits and recall costs related to its production of faulty air bag inflators.