"We always want to be known as the family Ford Lincoln store that treats you like family," says Don Price, President and one of the owners of LaFayette Ford Lincoln. The dealership is the only family-owned and operated Ford Lincoln store in Fayetteville, and has been for over 60 years. Don Price, along with son, Tim Price, and son-in-law, Mark Fisher, own and operate the business.
It all started in 1949, when LaFayette Motor Sales opened its doors and began selling Ford cars and trucks in Fayetteville. The All-American dealership was built on fundamental values, like honesty, integrity, respect and community involvement.
"If you look after the community, then the community will look after you. That's the idea I've tried to instill here over the years," says Price. He began his automotive career at LaFayette Ford in 1965 after he completed his service in the U.S. Air Force. He started as a salesman and, by 1980, had worked his way up to general sales manager. In 1989, he bought into LaFayette Ford and became a dealer principal, and in 1996 he completed the purchase. Though his leadership brought growth and change to the company, Price upheld the community-minded business philosophy that his predecessors began. "It's not all about selling cars," Price continues. "You have to be visible and involved and recognize the needs of the community."
For Price and his team of one hundred employees, it starts with supporting the military and the local school system. Through Ford's Drive One 4UR School and Drive One 4 the Troops special fund-raising events, LaFayette Ford Lincoln raised over $10,000 for area high schools, and another $10,000 for the National Military Family Association.
In addition, LaFayette Ford Lincoln is involved with AUSA, BSAC, PSAC, MAC and Friends of SOF. They also proudly sponsor events at Fort Bragg, like the annual Holiday Tree Lighting Celebration and the Fort Bragg Fair.
Each year, LaFayette Ford Lincoln awards scholarships to outstanding local FFA students and gives the Principal of the Year a one year lease on a new Ford.
The family's commitment to the community does not go unnoticed. In 2010, Governor Bev Purdue awarded Don Price the Order of the Long Leaf Pine award. Ford Motor Company honored him that same year with the Salute to Dealers Award. In 2009, Price was the North Carolina Automobile Dealers nominee for the 2009 Time Magazine Dealer of the Year award. All of these awards are given to recognize outstanding dedication to community service.
All three owners are actively involved in their local Kiwanis club and serve their community through various avenues through that civic organization. They also proudly support the arts, local childrens charities, the Fayetteville YMCA and many, many other deserving local charities.
Last year LaFayette Ford Lincoln's commitment to excellence in customer service earned the dealership one of the highest honors possible, the President's Award from Ford Motor Company. Alan Mulally, the President and CEO of Ford, personally visited LaFayette Ford Lincoln to give the award to the owners and staff. That will be a day long remembered by everyone at the dealership. The award is given based on customer surveys about the level of professionlism and customer service given by the dealership. "We've always used the old golden rule philosophy. You simply treat customers the way you want to be treated," commented Price. "It's just really wonderful to be recognized for it."
LaFayette Ford Lincoln has achieved over 60 years of success by being the family-owned Ford Lincoln store that treats you like family. Mark Fisher and Tim Price continue building on that solid foundation of family values, taking LaFayette Ford Lincoln into a bright future.