A Columbus dealership has stopped selling and servicing Lincoln and Mercury vehicles.
Steve Kinkade, a spokesman for Ford Motor Company, confirmed Thursday Gateway Lincoln Mercury is no longer an authorized dealer of the two Ford Motor Co. brands. He said Gateway’s franchise agreement ended earlier this month.
“This was a mutual decision between the owner of Gateway and Ford Motor Co. and was undertaken with the utmost collaboration between both parties,” Kinkade said.
Gateway is located on Fifth Avenue in downtown Columbus. It remains a Mitsubishi and used car dealer.
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Local customers who are interested in purchasing new Lincoln or Mercury cars now will have to travel outside of Columbus. King Ford-Lincoln Mercury in Valley, Ala.; Sledge Ford-Lincoln Mercury in Manchester, Ga.; Carl Gregory Ford-Lincoln Mercury in Auburn, Ala.; and Mike Patton Ford-Lincoln Mercury in LaGrange, Ga., are some of the closest dealers that sell and service Lincoln and Mercury vehicles.
For Lincoln and Mercury vehicle owners, Rivertown Ford on Whittlesey Road is now the only dealer in Columbus authorized to perform repairs on Lincoln and Mercury cars under warranty.
“Hopefully, we’ll get that business — the warranty business,” said Wayne Harbert, Rivertown general manager.
Gateway owner and president Dan Snow had been affiliated with the local Lincoln Mercury dealership since purchasing it with fellow Macon, Ga., businessman Barney Smith in 1983. Snow became general manager of what was then called Victory Lincoln-Mercury, later becoming sole owner and renaming it Gateway.