As Carmichael Ford celebrates 40 years in Townsville, we chat to Dealer Principal Glen Sharp about what’s around the bend.
The motoring industry is charging along the revolution highway. You can hear the changes coming around the bend, as loud as the grunt of a V8-powered Ford Mustang GT at full pelt.
For Glen Sharp, Dealer Principal at Carmichael Ford Townsville and Ayr, these changes are nothing short of exciting as he nears his third decade in the industry. Technology advancements, energy efficiency, electric cars, self-drive options and the convergence of connectivity – we have green lights all the way.
“Technology has been on the fast track since I joined Carmichael Ford in 2009,” offers Glen who began his career with the Ford brand in 1990. “Customers want safety features like air bags and reverse cameras, and there’s growing interest in collision avoidance, lane-change warning, stability control, adaptive cruise and Sync3. It’s exciting to see where Ford’s heading with fuel efficiency too.”
Ford’s EcoBoost engine range is highly acclaimed. The smallest 1.0-litre was the first engine to be named International Engine of the Year’s overall ‘Engine of the Year’ three times in a row, 2012–2014, and has been ‘Best Engine Under 1.0 litre’ each of the five years since it launched, due to its combination of performance and fuel efficiency. The groundbreaking ingenuity of EcoBoost is now being employed in new EcoBlue diesel engines.
Today the most popular products sold through Townsville’s dealership are the legendary pony, the Ford Mustang (which only landed in Australia in 2016) and the luxury workhorse Ford Ranger (which was also Australia’s best-selling ute for 2016).
Since opening in 1977 as one of Townsville’s first major car dealerships, Carmichael Ford has sold more than 50,000 vehicles from its Charters Towers Road location.
The business remains in the Carmichael family, with Andrew Carmichael the senior partner, with interests from Glen and colleagues Gary Lewis and Peter McCann.
“Ford is very much based on customer service, and that’s been key to the business’s longevity,” says Glen. “People used to do their research in the car yards, now they do it on their phones in front of the TV; but they still want the one-on-one interaction in making a significant purchase.”
“Ford is a passionate brand; and so are the people behind it.” – Glen Sharp
Today, Carmichael Ford employs around 80 people, with many long-term staff including payroll manager Sandra Paravacini, who has been with the company for 38 years.
It’s a reminder that the people selling on the showroom floor, servicing your vehicle and answering the phones are there as much for employment as they are for the love of the Ford products.
“Mal White who runs our Ayr Service Department used to service my family’s Ford back when I was growing up in Ayr. Ford is a passionate brand; and so are the people behind it.”
77 Charters Towers Road Hermit Park