The Joneses and extended family were out in force Tuesday.
Not only was Jones Ford kicking off construction of its new showroom, service department and 400-foot-long collision center with a groundbreaking, but the venerable dealership was celebrating the company's 47th year at Remount Road and Rivers Avenue.
The Jones family, which numbered in the teens, lead the groundbreaking April 1 morning with assistance from North Charleston Mayor Keith Summey. Guests applauded as David Walters, Jones president; Summey; and others took shovels to ceremoniously turn loads of dirt.
"We are excited to begin construction on these beautiful new facilities that express our continued loyalty and commitment to Ford and the tri-county community," said Walters, son-in-law of company pioneers Quaddy and Lucy Jones.
Walters said, "The entire Jones Ford family eagerly looks forward to providing an even better sales and service experience in our new facilities at the same convenient location, 'Right off the interstate, right on the price.' Please come and join us as we celebrate this important event."
Jones Ford worked on plans for at least six months before unveiling the new dealership renderings and hosting the groundbreaking.
"It's going to be two story: offices upstairs and sales downstairs," Walters said this week. While closer to I-26, "It should stand out on Rivers Avenue (too)." The building should be completed by next year. "We are shooting for the middle of May (2015)," he said.
Jones Ford employs 80-90 people in its current spot. "We are anticipating some growth coming. We've already grown back pre-recession," said Walters, who expects the employee count to hit 100 by the time the new dealership facilities open.
Jones Ford, a family owned and operated Ford dealership, traces its roots to 1918. That's when Paul Motor Company began selling new Fords on lower Meeting Street.
Later on, Cadwallader "Quaddy" Jones would marry Lucy Paul, daughter of J. Robertson Paul - founder of Paul Motor Company and personal friend of Henry Ford, according to the company.
In 1967, Ford Motor gave Jones - then dealership chief - the opportunity to open another dealership in North Charleston to serve the growing market. Jones Ford opened April 1, 1967 on the northwest corner of well-traveled Rivers Avenue and Remount Road.
Reach Jim Parker at 937-5542 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
North Charleston Mayor Keith Summey (third from right) was among the dignitaries involved in the Tuesday groundbreaking. Leroy Burnell/Staff 4/1/2014×
Guests clap after the first shovels of dirt are lifted to start the new Jones Ford project. Leroy Burnell/Staff 4/1/2014×
The new Jones Ford layout will be closer to Interstate 26 than it is now but will still have access off Rivers Avenue. Provided×