Friendly Ford service director Greg Haase is among the many long-time employees of one of Southern Nevada’s oldest dealerships, having been with the Olliges family that owns it for more than half of his life.
After starting out as a technician at the dealership at 660 N. Decatur Blvd., the former Air Force kid has been all over the world; and he’s content staying in one place with one of oldest new-car dealerships in Southern Nevada.
“When I first came to Friendly Ford in the 1970s, we were on the outskirts of town,” recalled Haase, a native of Bloomington, Ill. “The freeway ended on Decatur and didn’t continue any further west. In fact, you could stand here and see the Las Vegas Strip.”
The fact that Friendly Ford is family-owned is one of the biggest reasons why Haase has reported to the same office for more than three decades.
“… about a month ago, Henry Ford III stopped in to visit me to talk about the service side of the business,” Haase explained.
“I thought he might just pop in and out and he spent some time here just to talk. The fact that this dealership was founded by and is still owned by Ed Olliges in 1970 is huge. Then, when you consider that a member of the Ford family is very active in the day-to-day operations, you can see true history here.”
In a nutshell, Haase is working for a pair of close-knit families with a product that has been in existence since 1903.
“Ford is the No. 1 loyalty brand in the country,” Haase explained. “Our customers never have to worry about the vehicle they’re driving when it’s purchased from us. We will take care of them from the time of the sale all the way through the rest of the ownership.”
Haase said one of the biggest reasons for the success of Friendly Ford is that company executives have not been afraid to make changes.
“This year, we’re looking at implementing in the way we operate our parts, service, sales and body shop operations,” he explained.
Haase added that the dealership has had numerous repeat buyers over the years.
“We have customers that have purchased as many as 30 vehicles from us over the years,” said Haase. “This store has a lot of history and our customers are part of that history.”
Haase further explained that when Olliges purchased the land that is now the site of the dealership, it was at the edge of nowhere. That’s certainly not the case now, though.
“We’re right in the middle of the city now,” said Haase. “It turns out that we’re also right in one of the best locations because we’re directly off the freeway on the way to work and on the way home for thousands of commuters.
“Also, Decatur remains one of the busiest streets in Las Vegas. It goes without saying that Ed Olliges has always had incredible foresight. He was here yesterday and he’ll be here every day. He walks through the shop on a daily basis to talk with all of the techs that are there.”
Haase said he wasn’t the only long-time employee of Friendly Ford.
“We have several employees with 30 years or more and many that have well over 20 years,” he explained. “The dealership knows that the greatest asset is dedicated and talented employees and we like to keep them as long as possible.”
Get further information about Friendly Ford by calling 702-870-7221 or visiting www.friendlyfordlv.com.