Perseverance is important for any business owner. Just ask Rob Sight, owner of Rob Sight Ford in Martin City, MO.
“The last 10 years have been tough,” says Sight. “We’ve been doing everything we can to keep building the business.”
Sight is a third generation family member to work in the automobile industry in Kansas City. His grandfather started a Chevrolet dealership in 1923. His father, Bob Sight, owned a Lincoln Mercury dealership in Overland Park, KS. Rob started working at his father’s dealership when he was 14 sweeping floors and servicing cars. When his father passed away in 1982, Sight and his brother, Tom, took over the family business in Overland Park.
“We did well at that location, but it was getting old and we outgrew it,” says Sight. “I knew we needed to move out south and also east of 69 highway. I found this location in 2004 but we knew the area was green and we would be pioneers because there wasn’t much out here at the time.”
Sight purchased 15 acres near 135th Street and Highway 150 in Martin City and built an entire complex that included a Lincoln/Mercury and a Mazda dealership. The dealerships opened in 2006.
“We soon discovered business at the Lincoln Mercury dealership wasn’t what we projected it would be. I realized we needed to do something to increase our business.”
In 2007, he approached the Ford Motor Company about incorporating nearby Ford dealerships to begin selling Ford vehicles alongside the other brands. Ford agreed and Sight’s dealership was renamed Rob Sight Ford Lincoln Mercury. Sight decided to sell the Mazda dealership in 2007 to focus on the Ford Lincoln Mercury dealership.
Soon after the transition, Sight’s business encountered more challenges when the automotive industry bailout and recession happened in 2008. Some business owners may have walked away at that point, but Sight attributes the work-ethic and determination he learned growing up as the reasons he’s stayed in business.
“We persevered and kept working hard, and business continued to improve. We’ve grown to the point where we now need extra room.”
One step toward moving things in the right direction is the addition of a parking lot that will add up to 90 additional spots for the dealership’s car inventory. Sight says it will have a significant impact on his customers’ buying experience.
“Currently, we have to park cars in the grass because we are out of room. Customers have to walk through mud and tall grass and it can be virtually impossible for them to look at cars,” says Sight. “The addition will also bring our presence closer to Highway 150 so people can find us easier.”
The lot will feature a brand-new, environmentally-friendly surface material. Traditionally, storm drains collect rainwater and direct it to a sewage system. The new surface will not include storm drains. Rather, it will be constructed out of impervious concrete, which is porous and returns the water back into the ground, rather than sending it to rivers which pollute the water system.
The dealership brought new jobs to Martin City, as the dealership has 74 employees on staff. Sight has more land available around the dealership and hopes to one day expand even more. While the immediate future of the automobile industry looks promising, he says he can’t stop doing the things that have kept his doors open in Martin City for over 11 years.
“If we relax because we think we’ve made it, we will be in trouble,” says Sight. “It has been an adventure, but I feel lucky to be where we are today and have this opportunity to help people with their vehicle needs.”
Rob Sight Ford is located at 13901 Washington St, Kansas City, MO 64145. Please visit their website to see how they can work with you!