New location for local Lincoln-Mercury sales

Lincoln-Mercury vehicle sales have shifted one-third of a mile on Columbia's Greystone Boulevard to Classic Ford from Stivers Automotive Group.

Ford moved the franchise this month to put its three main nameplates at one location, said David Bass, a spokesman for the automaker.

Carmakers have been consolidating - and in some cases ending - dealer franchises as sales have slipped during the two-year recession. Jim Moore Cadillac on Main Street in Columbia closed in September after its franchise was not renewed.

Stivers will continue to sell Mitsubishi and Subaru vehicles at the Greystone dealership and wants to add another make, Stivers Automotive Group president John Stivers said.

Meanwhile, Stivers said his company acquired a Ford-Lincoln-Mercury dealership in Montgomery, Ala., this month.

The addition of Lincoln-Mercury is another big change at the dealership known for years as Bob Bennett Ford. A year ago, Mills Automotive Group of Smithfield, N.C., bought the dealership and changed the name to Classic.

- Andrew Shain