Posted on July 22, 2012
Originally published in the El Dorado News-Times on July 23, 2012.
Effective in early June, Ford Trotter incorporated Murphy Motor Company and Murphy Nissan in El Dorado and recently announced plans to build a Chrysler Dodge Jeep showroom within the next 18 months.
New owner H. Ford Trotter III, whose family owns Trotter Ford, Lincoln and Toyota franchises, said he?d looked to expand the business but couldn?t find a location in Pine Bluff where the family?s current facilities are located. The sprawl to El Dorado stemmed from a childhood spent visiting the area and the thought that the Murphy family, which didn?t manage on site, might be willing to sell.
"We were familiar with El Dorado and I knew the Murphys were not in-store operators and they didn?t live in town and I thought they might be willing to sell,? he said. "And they were a good franchise line.?
Trotter wouldn?t disclose the purchase price but would say the incorporation included all new vehicles on each site and a number of the used vehicles. The transition also included all but two Murphy employees who didn?t wish to remain with Trotter. All services will still be provided by the new dealerships, he said.
Kirk Crisalli, who served as the new vehicle manager for the Pine Bluff Ford dealership, was named general manager for both El Dorado operations, Trotter said.
The employees who?ve completed the transition seem excited about working for the dealership, Trotter said.
"We?re car people, we?ve been in business for 76 years, we came from a car background where the Murphys really didn?t,? he said. "I think they?re fired up about having on-site management as opposed to kind of an absentee owner and they seem to very excited about that.?
Murphy Motor Company began operations on Feb. 15, 1993, and Murphy Nissan opened for business on Feb. 15, 1996, a representative said."