When Jason Pottle bought Wentworth Ford in Guys Mills, he always had the plan of taking the old dealership and moving it to the future.
Since taking over the dealership in December of 2019, Pottle and his team have hit countless roadblocks and obstacles. However, as the two-year anniversary of owning the dealership approaches, Pottle has a new building and a new location that really fulfills his goal.
“The plan was always Titusville,” said Pottle. “And now we can do all the exciting things that Ford can offer.”
The new dealership is located at 11430 Hydetown Road. The entire building hasn’t been finished, so they are operating at a ‘soft open’ until everything gets finished. With delays to things like garage doors and other small aspects, Pottle thought this was the best way to slowly have the community see what Titusville Ford is all about.
It took years for Pottle to get approved to run a Ford dealership. It is not due to experience or a lack of references, the process is just long and arduous.
“Getting into Ford is very difficult if your dad’s name isn’t already on the sign,” he said.
When he purchased the business, they were located in an older white building in Guys Mills, something that looks far different from the modern dealerships you see today.
“We weren’t able to deliver the Ford experience at that location,” he said. “This building is set for efficiency, it is set for customer service, it’s set for the future.”
Ford has what is called an area of responsibility. That means that dealerships have designated areas that cover, which minimizes having two Ford dealerships next door competing with each other.
When Pottle looked at Wentworth’s area of responsibility, he saw that it included Titusville, a place he was familiar with. Pottle is from Pittsburgh, but his family had been coming to Canadohta lake since the 80s. Titusville was always the last city they passed before they went to the lake. “Any time we were in Titusville we would get excited,” he said.
Pottle remembers driving into town while considering taking over Wentworth and seeing all the businesses and industry that Titusville has to offer.
“It’s a great little town. You see the hospital, the Pitt campus, there is industry here,” he said.
Pottle is trading being neighbors to a cornfield and a trailer to Walmart and Tractor Supply. “I see a lot of pluses. This is a real American community,” he said.
The new location will not only offer the Ford experience, but allow Titusville to take a step towards the future. Part of what the dealership will offer is a way for Titusville to move into the electric vehicle future.
“This is an area that loves gas and diesel, and that isn’t going anywhere,” he said. That doesn’t mean that the dealership can’t take steps towards electric.
Titusville Ford will offer a blink network charger. That means anyone with an electric vehicle, no matter the time, can stop at Titusville Ford and charge their vehicle.
Blink can even chart a route for electric vehicle users to make sure that they can get to a charge station on a road trip easily.
Besides the charging station, Pottle said his dealership will have electric vehicles like the Lightning, Mustang and Transit in stock.
“There could be a lot of changes in 2030,” said Pottle. His dealership will be ready for that.
The dealership is hiring eight employees, and keeping some experienced staff from the previous location. They will offer genuine Ford parts, certified Ford technicians, general auto repair and sell new and used cars and trucks.
Besides offering Titusville a list of services, Pottle and Titusville Ford also want to get involved with the community. Pottle said you can expect to see something from the dealership in next year’s Oil Festival parade.
“We are super excited to be a part of this community,” said Pottle. “We have big plans for a baseball team, to support the volunteer fire departments.”
Pottle envisions Titusville Ford being a great member of the community for many years to come. This isn’t a short term thing. Pottle says you can expect the dealership to assist citizens for the next 25 years, at least.
“After the bells and whistles of the new facility, we want to offer Titusville top quality service from the day they buy to the day they trade in for another one,” said Pottle.
Dvorkin can be reached by email at Gdvorkin@titusvilleherald.com.