Ford Authority

Ford Dealer Shuts Down After 50 Years In Business

Ford dealers have faced quite a bit of adversity in recent years, much of that due to the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic and a resulting production nightmare spurred on by supply chain issues across the globe. Things have improved in recent months, but those same dealers were recently asked to opt in or out of the Model e Certified program, which will allow each to sell EVs, but also requires a significant investment on their part. Couple that with the fact that some old buildings being torn down and replaced with new ones, and more than one Ford dealer looks a lot different now than it did years ago. Unfortunately, one Ford dealer that’s been around for nearly 50 years is now shutting down altogether, according to the Escalon Times.

2017 Ford Explorer Tom Hillier Ford - Exterior 001 - Front Three Quarters

That dealer is Hillier Ford in Escalon, California, a location that opened back in 1975 on Coley Avenue before moving to its current location on McHenry Avenue just a few years later. Originally opened by Tom Hillier, the dealership was later taken over by his son, David Hillier, who ultimately decided to sell it to Ford and close its doors after nearly a half-century in business.

“I’m going to miss the business,” Hillier said, noting that he “very much enjoyed” his time in the automotive sales realm. “Our customer base as a whole has been wonderful,” he said, noting that many of those customers come from all over the state just to do business there. Hillier took over the dealership when his now-late father retired in 2002, but ultimately decided to sell the franchise to Ford rather than seek out another dealer. “It was definitely a hard decision … we’re a family here,” he said.

Ford Fusion Tom Hillier Ford - Exterior 001 - Front Three Quarters

Luckily, Hillier Ford employees apparently won’t have any trouble finding new jobs at surrounding dealers, as they’re already in high demand. “This was a very high performing location,” he explained. “We had extremely high customer satisfaction numbers.”

We’ll have more Ford dealer news to share soon, so be sure and subscribe to Ford Authority for 24/7 Ford news coverage.

Brett's lost track of all the Fords he's owned over the years and how much he's spent modifying them, but his current money pits include an S550 Mustang and 13th gen F-150.

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  1. Michael

    Thank God. Close down as many as they can. Randall Ford in Fort Smith next please. They are adding 10k “Market Adjustments” on the sticker price.

    1. Jay Jay

      The Hilliers were good folks who didn’t price gouge anyone. I, for one, am sad to see them go.

      1. Davido50

        Don’t listen to these fools that troll this forum. He didn’t want to invest in upgrades hence he chose a buyout.

        1. S cal


        2. Joofus

          Ford is pushing a one size fits all model with their dealers on EVs when they are by no means suitable for many markets. This is killing a lot of smaller rural family dealers. If you love Autonation, cheer this on and enjoy your markups.

    2. Davido50

      You wish. Won’t happen. Ford is doing too well. Let’s tax the foreign brands. Bring on tariffs if your corporation isn’t based in US.

      1. Nate

        This is a load of bollocks. If the big 3 were making good products they wouldnt have to worry. Imposing more tariffs on the Japanese (and lets be honest, thats who youre talking about) only hurts the consumer in the end.

        1. Jack Sprat

          There is no such thing as a American
          car. It may be assembled in the US but most of the parts are made overseas. I will take a Honda or a Toyota any day over the 3 big so called American Cars.
          Also Im not sure about Toyota but there are several Honda Assembly Plants here so dont tell me were losing JOBS buying foreign.
          Nate you are so right about tariffs they will only hurt the consumer.

          1. Ian

            And where do the good jobs in those Japanese companies reside again? Oh yeah, that’s right – the vast majority are not in the US. You and your republican pals can keep scummy Toyota and their support of far-right MAGA politicians. At least Honda are a more decent company.

    3. Brad Randall

      Michael, Randall Ford in Fort Smith charges MSRP for special ordered vehicles and not a penny over. If any vehicle Randall Ford sold had a market adjustment, it would be a Specialty vehicle like Shelby GT500 or Raptor, which is controlled by market demand. If you don’t like paying a premium for a specialty vehicle, then don’t. Vote with your dollars instead of wishing for a Family business to close. That’s just mean-spirited and rude.

  2. Johnny

    It’s only the beginning of a lot of ford dealership to be closeing because of the greedy bastards at ford

    1. S cal

      You are exactly right. There’s mandatory ev upgrades to all Ford dealerships.

  3. Richard

    I have used the same Ford dealer for 16 years with no problem whatsoever. This is for both sales and service. All dealers are not created equal.

    1. Davido50

      Likewise. Ignore the trolls that are jealous of Fords success. These are anti American hypocrites. They keep buying foreign & wonder why there salaries are falling. Job opportunities becoming nonexistent etc.

    2. S cal

      Me too

    3. Bunts

      I am 65 years old I decided in 2020 to buy my first ford , what a BIG MISTAKE, LEMON LAWED! So I thought I would try one more ford, WRONG BIG MISTAKE one issue after another. Then the dealer reneged on a service contract. There’s nothing I can say good about Ford. Sorry never had these kind of problems with Chevrolet.

  4. Davido50

    Well then get off this forum. Why are you still here?

  5. Raymond

    I was a Ford man until. They would not honor there warranty They lost a lifetime owner of ford’s And mercury s.over a tps switch
    I now own a Chevy truck the number 1 large size pickup in the USA. I didn’t ready know what I missing thanks Ford for considering a Chevy I didn’t know what I was missing.

  6. Dave Mathers

    Why did Ford want to buy it? Just to close it down? Something wrong with this picture.

    1. Joofus

      Ford is buying dealers that don’t want to or can’t do the EV and store upgrades they’re mandating. The smaller dealer groups and family owned stores are the vast majority of those taking the buyout. Stupid and shortsighted. Example: WTF is someone in Alpine, Texas gonna do with an EV that doesn’t have enough range to get to the next town and back? Why make that dealer add on a product that won’t sell??

  7. Ann

    Ford is forcing dealers out by demanding they take on the EV add on (at a tune of over a million dollars) and refusing to send the same dealers vehicles. They want a totally dealer-less business. I know this from a dealer who sold out because Ford sent him ZERO new vehicles in the last 2 years and refused to honor vehicles orders that were prepaid 100%. The quality has gone downhill radically as well.

    1. Rob

      The industry as a whole had a major chip inventory issue, I was fortunate enough to have my special ordered vehicle received in about 5-6 months.

  8. Brant

    RYE Ford in Rye NY closed down after being in business since 1957. The owner got tired of not being able to get the different Ford products that they wanted. They now sell Subaru’s.

  9. Mike Lambrecht

    Not me I grew up a bow tie fan

    1. VegasEMT

      I brought over all the residents of an assisted living home to view your incredibly well thought out and intelligent comment.

      People who hadn’t walked for years literally jumped out of their wheel chairs and started walking again….some signed up for a marathon!!

      Some old people who read your important thought actually were able to go home and live on their own….all because of you!!!

      Thank you for sharing, and thank you for being special.

  10. Kenny Brooks

    Ford isn’t the only manufacturer requiring deep pocket changes to adapt their dealerships to upcoming changes EV vehicles will bring. And many long time family owned dealerships have passed to second and even third generations of the original owners. Business is about growth, profits and timing. We’ve seen many of these same family dealerships now under huge corporate ownership here in our city. It’s a fact of life in America in every industry.

  11. Tim layne

    Ford and really all of them are pushing this electric car crap….I’m afraid all of them are going to go broke selling golf carts..
    Oh yes, Chevy guys don’t talk about imports …GM is a Chinese Company!

  12. Charles Rizzo

    Late last year an ICONIC dealership network was sold in Central New Jersey.
    The owner, who I personally knew, from whom I bought 15 vehicles over the past 25 years, passed away.
    His sons ( so I’m told) sold pretty much all of the dealerships save one to another MEGA dealer owner.
    Hundreds of millions I’m told.
    Hey why work when you hit the lottery??
    Now the service rate is well over $250.00/hr.
    I brought my 2015 Expedition there religiously since I bought it in November, 2015; until after the last service in November. I’m still waiting for a rear fan to be replaced on recall from October of last year.
    I just had new struts done in the front as well as an oil change and tire rotation for hundreds less than the dealer wanted for just the struts.
    My guess is that this new family will destroy most if not all of the dealerships within 5 years.
    At least the sons got rich.

  13. Bc

    A lot of comments here blaming everyone else. Have you ever compared the regulation, the unions, the cost and risks of doing biz under a repressive system like ours to the beauty of a wide open manufacturing setup for auto export like japan. You are doing small minded so called analysis based on your own unhappiness with the lovers you voted for. WAKE UP STUPID! I’m talking about most of the posts here.

  14. Smackpop7

    Would appreciate if you did not say opened in 1975 = 50 years. I was born in 1975…..

  15. Mike

    Ford Mtr recently announced that the Company LOST 3 Billion dollars on their 2 EV units. The F150 and Mustang any business that decides to upgrade his Dealership can expect to go the way of the dinasor. EVs are Fords 2nd Edsel.

  16. Donald Livingston

    I’m so happy for these dealers closing or going out of business they thought there sceem and scam would last forever unfortunately forever is here stealing from there customers with 10 or 15 thousand over MSRP congrats what did you think would happen now The public celebrates evertime another position dealership goes out of business again enjoy your retirement lol

  17. Frank charlton

    I not trust electric cars no more then a rattle snake there has been lotta issues from them and the put out just as much pollution as a bunch of tires being burned if anything picture your skin being burned off by acid rain hell mite as well go back to horse and buggy

    1. Rick

      I will never buy an electric car or truck. Ever.
      I will drive my combustion engine untill it drives no more. Then refurbish it and start all over.

      1. Bob

        As EV vehicles progress the idea over never even if the future might deliver cheaper and better seems short sighted and just a knee jerk reaction. ICE replaced the horse. EV’s will eventually replace the ICE does that matter if it works for you? Isn’t it a passenger and or product carrier? I saw the Tesla Trucks go up a mountain carrying a load passing several trucks gasping for air. As they go downhill they regen the batteries. Version one is not done but seems to be useable.

  18. Frank charlton

    When the say no more gas then I going to go buy a horse

  19. Rick

    Yes. There is not near enough power to go around if everyone has an electric car tocharge. The grid would fail and it would still have to use just as much fossil fuels and still be costly. Our piliticians are very short sighted and it will all backfire and fail.

  20. Rick

    Oh and Climate change????
    Lets see, this last winter was one the coldest, wettest we’ve had in 50 years. And its still cold now.
    Throws that theory down the toilet.

  21. Mike Warren

    Canadian, have a 2010 Ranger 4 X 4, just 200,000 K, gets parked in the garage every night , gets undersprayed every winter, Excellent shape only a little rust on back bumper. Should last another 5 years main reason an independent mechanic and not a Ford dealership, one year ago they recalled both Airbags, took 9 months to get them and a month to install I don’t think they knew how.

  22. Jerry

    Fords published business plan in to shutter at least 1,800 dealerships accross the nation.


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