By: MICHAEL HALL on January 18, 2012
Original Article: BRUNSWICK NEWS, THE (GA)

Jan. 18 – Mike Murphy is something like a parent who is asked which is his favorite child. He loves his Kia dealership in Glynn County, but he always wanted a Ford dealership, too.

Now, like a parent with a son and daughter, he has both.

“I have always wanted to be a Ford dealer, I just never thought I would actually be a Ford dealer,” Murphy said while walking across the parking lot of his new store, Mike Murphy Ford at Darien.

He likes trucks — which Kia does not have — and has always been impressed with the cars Ford makes, so when the opportunity developed to buy Lilliston Ford, he jumped at the chance.

“Ford is a great brand. The best. I love the technology and the quality of the cars they make,” Murphy said.

In addition to offering the cars and trucks he has longed to sell, Murphy’s wife Delores, a former commercial real estate agent, saw the property where Lilliston Ford sat as a jewel. She liked its visibility from Interstate 95 at exit 49, the ample space on the lot and the building on it. For her, it was the logical next step for a growing business.

Buying a well-established business also had its perks, Murphy said. A full staff of employees was on hand, with more knowledge of the product than he had.

“At Kia, we have seven models. Ford has 14 models and an almost infinite number of options. These guys already know everything they need to know,” Murphy said.

Expanding the product line further is the high-performance Saleen Mustang his Ford store is certified to sell. Each sales person and mechanic at Mike Murphy Ford is qualified to sell or service the super car, a carryover from the Lilliston Ford days.

Don’t expect to see any new Kia models on the lot in Darien, Murphy said, but pre-owned cars from both brands will be available at both locations.

He hopes that by diversifying his product line and expanding his business to be able to fill a niche for discounted automobiles.

“I plan on being a price leader with Ford, just like I have been with Kia,” Murphy said.