The Palmer Ford dealership on Wallendoon Street is boasting a rejuvenated look following new signage being installed on the buildings and in the car yard in recent weeks.

Opening the dealership in 2006, owner and Cootamundra-Gundagai Deputy Mayor Dennis Palmer said the business has faced some of its biggest challenges recently in its 15-year lifespan.

“There has been a massive downturn in sales during lockdown because we could not do demonstrations with customers,” Dennis said.

“It’s fine to have phone contact, but without the see, feel, touch and drive for the customer – sales are almost non-existent.”

Due to the COVID-19 global pandemic and all the restrictions that follow, Palmer Ford faces increased wait times to get cars delivered to the dealership.

“Our supply chain is under a heap of pressure due to all types of constraints due to COVID,” Dennis continued.

“There are constraints at the wharf and constraints with the supplies of some of the overseas components.”

The Ford Ranger continues to be the best-selling Ford model in Cootamundra at the moment.

“Rangers are still coming through and are our primary seller over here,” the Deputy Mayor said.

“If you were to order one and get one built, subject to supply chain not changing, it would be about a five-month wait.

“Although, in saying that, there is product coming through which is unsold that was order months and months ago and they are available right now.

“But if customers want something different or custom-built, a small dealer hasn’t got a great lineup, so we’d have to get one from another dealer or get one built.”

To reinvigorate the dealership and promote new sales, Ford has recently undertaken a ‘corporate upgrade’ on the Palmer Ford dealership, installing new signage and logos.

A new ‘Palmer Ford’ sign now sits above the showroom, a fresh ‘Service’ sign above the workshop, as well as updated signage pylons in the car yard.

New signage at the Palmer Ford dealership. Photo: Tim Warren.

“We put the new signage up about two weeks ago,” Dennis said.

“Ford does a corporate upgrade about every 10-12 years to freshen the place up.”

Dennis was understanding of the current downturn in sales but is hopeful they can soon bounce back strongly as the state heads out of lockdown.

“I think everybody is in the same boat at the moment. We’ve just got to be tolerant of the situation and expect delays,” he said.

Tim Warren