Carl Leckner says, “we are still hoping to stay open. That’s my goal.”
The owner of Leckner Ford in Marshall contacted the Fauquier Times following its publication online of a story Wednesday that quoted two employees at the dealership saying staff was told that the dealership would close Friday, Aug. 23
Leckner emailed a letter to the Times in which he said his business has been hampered by actions of Ford Credit, the financial services arm of Ford Motor Company.
A statement from Ford Motor Company sought in response said "a lawsuit has been filed in circuit court in Henrico County, Virginia. Unfortunately, with litigation pending, we are unable to comment beyond the information in our legal filings."
A check of the filing by Ford Motor Credit Company LLC in Henrico County Circuit Court shows it filed a detinue seizure petition, defined in the Code of Virginia as "a proceeding to recover personal property unlawfully withheld from the plaintiff."
Leckner's letter sent to the Times in full reads as follows:
Dear residents and surrounding businesses of Marshall Virginia,
Leckner Ford of Marshall has been one of my greatest joys owning. I have been so proud of the employees and it saddens me to consider closing.
Due to Ford Credit reducing my credit lines over the last year I am unable to continue operations.
Speaking for myself and all the employees of our dealership we are so sad to see one of the oldest Ford Dealerships in the country possibly close. We have been working with Ford Credit to try and resolve the matter. Unfortunately, they have refused to reopen our financing. Employees of Ford Motor Company have been working with me and I believe they don’t want to see their financing arm put me out of business.
I know Ford Motor Company is proud of the job we have done. I can only pray someone at Ford Motor Company and or Ford Credit helps us solve the issues. I will keep you updated.
Thank you for the love you gave our dealership over the years. We are fighting hard to keep it in business.
We appreciate the residents and businesses of Marshall, Virginia for your support. We love you.
The earlier article posted online Aug. 21 quoted the parts and finance managers at the Marshall dealership saying that it would be closing Friday.
Leckner bought what was formerly Marshall Ford in 2016 and renamed it Leckner Ford. Marshall Ford marked its 100th anniversary in continuous operation as a Ford dealership in 2015. The dealership is in a historic building on the corner of Main Street and Winchester Road.
In 2017, Leckner withdrew an application for a special permit to build a Ford and Nissan dealership on undeveloped land at Main Street and Old Stockyard in Marshall after encountering opposition about the size of the building, lighting and concerns that it wasn’t in keeping with the character of Marshall.
“Our goal was to be a good neighbor. We never thought we’d build something they didn’t want,” Leckner said at the time the application was withdrawn.
He ended up not buying the property and it remains undeveloped.
According to Automotive News, Leckner sold two Nissan dealerships in Virginia this spring to Patrick Dibre and PSD Automotive Group of Bridgewater, N.J. The sale of a Leckner Nissan dealership in Ellicott City, Maryland, was about to close.
The Leckner website lists five dealerships in operation – the Ford dealership In Marshall, a Ford dealership and a Chevrolet dealership in Woodstock, Virginia, a Chrysler, Dodge, Jeep, Ram dealership and a Ford dealership in King George, Virginia.
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