EVERETT — Epic Ford, an Everett car dealership that has been in business for more than half a century, has closed.
Swickard changed Brien Ford’s name to Epic Ford.
The showroom and service docks are closed. The parking lot is empty.
Swickard Auto Group did not respond to requests for comment.
South Everett resident Tom Richards was devastated to learn that Epic Ford had closed.
“I’ve been doing business with them for a long time,” said Richards, 77.
For most of its life, it “bounced between Fords and Chevrolets,” he said. “I was shocked to see they were out of business,” said Richards, who recently drove by the dealership and saw it was closed.
The Ford dealership at the corner of 52nd Street and Evergreen Way opened in 1971. That year, General Motors and Ford were the top-selling automobile brands in the United States. GM had captured 44% of the market, followed by Ford with 25% and Chrysler with 14%. Toyota, a new entrant to the US auto market, held less than 3% of sales, according to automotive industry data.
In 2016, GM was still the top-selling American brand, but its market share had fallen to 17%, followed by Ford at 15% and Toyota at 14%. Fiat Chrysler Automobiles is fourth with 13%.
In the early 1970s, gas-guzzling muscle cars, including the Ford Mustang, were still kings of the road.
But the new Environmental Protection Agency was stepping up a gear. Authorized by the Clean Air Act of 1970, the federal agency called on automakers to reduce vehicle emissions by 90% by 1975.
Swickard Auto Group operates eight car dealerships in Washington, including Swickard Toyota in Edmonds.
In total, Swickard operates more than two dozen auto dealerships in Washington, Oregon, California, Texas and Alaska, according to the company’s website.
However, Epic Ford was the company’s only Ford dealership, according to the website.
A recorded message left on Epic Ford’s phone confirms the store’s closure.
“Although we are no longer in business, we have three great choices for you that can meet all of your sales, service, and parts needs,” the post reads.
The recording advises customers to contact Harris Ford Lincoln in Lynnwood, Bickford Ford in Snohomish or Kendall Ford in Marysville.