103°F
weather icon Clear

Friendly Ford celebrates 47th anniversary with three major awards

Updated April 14, 2017 - 9:02 am

Friendly Ford celebrated its 47th year in business April 7 with a large crowd that included dignitaries and longtime friends visiting the dealership at 660 N. Decatur Blvd.

Among the dignitaries attending the early-morning gathering were Ford sales operation manager of the Phoenix Region Philip R. Chancellor, Ford credit business development manager Edgar Gutierrez and former Las Vegas Mayor Oscar Goodman, who calls his frequent attendance at the anniversary gatherings “my good luck visit.”

There are numerous reasons for Friendly Ford’s continued success.

“It’s because of the Olliges family,” said Chancellor, who awarded the Triple Crown to dealership owner Ed Olliges for the fifth time, the President’s Award for the 18th time and the Top 100 Club sales volume award. “We’re very fortunate to have the representation of the Olliges family in Las Vegas.”

Chancellor added that Friendly Ford won the President’s Award for that sixth consecutive time. The dealership has the second-best record in the Phoenix Region for receiving 18 of the awards.

Its Triple Crown award is the result of capturing the President’s Award, Sales Leadership and Premier Club in the same calendar year. Only 22 out of 3,100 dealerships in the United States won the Triple Crown in 2016.

Chancellor said business has experienced strong sales numbers.

“We’re very happy with the car business right now,” he said. “Las Vegas had a very successful first quarter and we’re looking forward to a very successful 2017.”

Established in 1970, Friendly Ford was built north of Western High School. The area was largely vacant, but the close proximity to U.S. Highway 95 was appealing to the location.

“This dealership is obviously very special to me,” Olliges told the gathering. “We are very grateful for what we have here. I still remember hiring people to work for us before we had the building built.”

The dealership was built the year Olliges’ daughter, Dana, was born.

“My dad has always told me that he absolutely loves his job,” she said. “He told me that he didn’t care what you do in life, but you have to love what you’re doing.”

Yet another reason for the continued success of Friendly Ford is the number of dedicated employees who have been with the dealership for many years. Longtime employees include service director Greg Haase, parts director Rob Mancini and customer care coordinator Geri Bich.

Haase and Mancini have each been with the dealership for 40 years, while Bich has worked for Friendly Ford for 18 years.

“I can’t imagine working anywhere else,” said Mancini, who walked across the street from Western High School to apply for a job after suffering a football injury that ended his playing days. “I was only 15 years old when I was hired here.”

The 60-year-old Haase was 20 years old when he joined Friendly Ford.

“I got offered a job as a technician with a flat-rate pay which is what every technician would want. It’s been great for me here because they give you an opportunity. They keep going here because they’re family-owned and operated, and we have integrity dating back to 1970. We simply do what’s right.”

“I think it’s the people here and, most of all, it’s the owner,” Bich said. “Ed is here all of the time, and he greets people. We have longevity here because it’s a good place to work.”

Don't miss the big stories. Like us on Facebook.
THE LATEST
Test drive 2019 Truck of the Year at Chapman

The 2019 Ram 1500 was named Motor Trend’s 2019 Truck of the Year and Edmunds Editor’s Choice for the large trucks division.

Findlay Mazda technician loves his job

With the immense changes in the mechanical end of the car business, technicians have their work cut out for them trying to keep up with all the technological advancements. Tony Tinnell has been in the car business 13 years and is certified in Kia, Ford and Mazda lines. He currently works for Findlay Mazda.

Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid completely reinvents minivan

The 2019 Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid, America’s first-ever hybrid minivan, checks those weekly gas station trips off the to-do list. Powered by an electric motor, the vehicle can be driven 520 miles before the next trip to the gas pump.

Hyundai of Las Vegas moves into new building

Hyundai of Las Vegas expanded its operations on West Sahara Avenue with into a new state-of-the-art building just west of its previous location.

Lexus of Henderson sponsor back-to-school supplies drive

Lexus of Henderson is reaching out to the Southern Nevada community to donate a variety of school supplies needed by the Clark County School District. Supplies can be dropped off in two boxes in the television lounge areas at the dealership located in the Valley Automall.

Findlay Toyota presents the 2020 GR Supra

The delivery of the 2020 GR Supra to Findlay Toyota produced incredible reaction as the all-new Supra makes its return. Over the next year, the dealership will receive an estimated 18 2020 GR Supras.

Chapman showroom upgraded to better assist customers

Chapman Chrysler Jeep in the Valley Automall has been undergoing a makeover to better serve its customers. The sales floor has added 75 feet of showroom space, opening it up for more displays.

Findlay Volkswagen holds show, drive for needy

Findlay Volkswagen Henderson supported the Henderson Chamber of Commerce’s Community Cares Pajama Drive, which collects that clothing for men, women and children. The collection will be donated to S.A.F.E. House Nevada.

Infiniti of Las Vegas receives 2018 Award of Excellence

Infiniti of Las Vegas was one of only 11 dealerships in the country to earn the 2018 Award of Excellence that recognizes outstanding performance in client service, vehicle sales and business management. The Las Vegas dealership also ranked No. 1 in Infiniti’s Western Region.