Posted on

Gerdon sells business to Jones

Gerdon sells business to Jones
Gerdon sells business to Jones
Gerdon Auto Sales Inc., which sells Chrysler, Dodge, Jeep and Ram products near downtown Corydon, was recently acquired by John Jones Auto Group. Photo by Alan Stewart (click for larger version)

Bill Gerdon’s Chrysler (Dodge, Jeep, Ram) dealership, a fixture in Corydon since 1959, unofficially closed its doors for the final time last week. The dealership franchise was recently purchased by John Jones Auto Group and will remain open under the John Jones banner.
‘We’re very excited about this new venture and offering more to our customers,’ Jones said.
William Leroy Gerdon’s dealership has served the community for more than a half-century, either by selling cars or by helping people who need it. He has a lengthy resum’ when it comes to serving the community, from helping to create the Gerdon Youth Center across from the dealership along Chestnut Street, to sponsoring area athletic events.
In 1959, Gerdon accepted a job selling Ford products at Underwood Motors in Corydon. A couple of months later, Lyndon Underwood expressed interest in Gerdon’s farm and the two made a deal: Gerdon gave 120 acres for seven used cars. Gerdon knows that sounds like a strange deal now. Back then, the seven used cars were worth $3,500 and the land was worth about $30 an acre.
‘I thought that was a good price,’ he said.
Later, Gerdon moved to a vacant lot behind Bennett’s Restaurant on land owned by Bill Buchanan, and, in May 1960, he moved the business to its present location along East Chestnut Street.
Gerdon started out as a Dodge Dealer then became incorporated in 1964. In 1968, he bought out Rowe & Carver Chrysler/Plymouth and then added Jeep to his line.
Bill and his wife, Imogene, have three children, Rita Pennington, Teresa Crawhorn and Roger Gerdon, all of whom work alongside the couple. They had 16 employees.
Gerdon said he has always had a love for the car industry.
‘I like dealing with people, helping people,’ he said. ‘That’s a big part of it.’
When it came time to decide whether to keep the dealership, it was not an easy decision. Gerdon said he built his reputation on how he treated each customer, and he cares about them.
‘That’s not something you can just put down,’ Gerdon said.
He thought long and hard about who he felt would continue the business the way he would ‘ taking care of his customers ‘ and there was one answer: John Jones.
Gerdon and Jones met about 10 years ago while on the advisory board at Prosser School of Technology and have a mutual respect and working relationship for the businesses they built.
Both men believe in one fundamental principle ‘ the customer is No. 1 ‘ and the focus should always be to serve their wants and needs.
That belief is part of why Jones has been in business for more than 28 years with three dealerships in Salem, Corydon and Scottsburg, and an automotive outlet in Greenville, which specializes in pre-owned vehicles.
‘With the expansion of our new facility in Corydon, it only makes sense to offer the Chrysler, Dodge, Jeep and Ram Truck brands to our customers,’ Jones said.