FORD are back in Kilkenny, and they return with the promise of a full range of professional services, plus a jobs creation programme, writes John Knox.
Michael Lyng Motors on the Hebron Road in Kilkenny City are the new main dealers for Ford in the city and county, and from this week they will be offering car, van, 4x4 sales and servicing plus all the back up services expected of a top line dealership.
“We are delighted to get a first class franchise like Ford,” insisted Michael Lyng Motors (MLM) managing director, Michael Lyng. “In some ways I am going back to my roots, because when I started out in this business nearly 40 years ago it was with Ford.”
The MLM organisation, which also has an outlet in Carlow, will continue with the Hyundai and Mitsubishi brands in Kilkenny and in Carlow.
The Ford outlet will be based at the current MLM premises on the Hebron Road just off the Ring Road and within a stone’s throw of GAA headquarters, Nowlan Park.
“I always had a love of Ford,” Mr Lyng continued. “It is a fantastic brand, with a terrific line up of cars, commercials and 4x4 vehicles which are constantly being updated. These are challenging times, but with this exciting new addition to our business we are looking forward with great optimism.
People very supportive
“The people of Kilkenny have been very supportive and loyal down the years. We appreciate that very much. Our intention is to build on the strong reputation we have nurtured carefully over the years and to continue to provide a service second to none. With us, the customer is No. 1.
“In was never more important than in these challenging times to look after your customers,” he added. “We shop local in that all our staff, all our business in so far as is possible, is done locally. We are a Kilkenny company supporting Kilkenny. We are very proud of that.”
The MLM group in Kilkenny and Carlow employs 30 people, and the aim is to increase that by 15 over the next three years or so. The latest recruit to the staff, for example, is P.J. Wilmot, who lives in the Rower. He will fill the role of Parts Manager for the group.
Two more Technicians will be taken on shortly, and the position of Marketing Manager for the group has already been advertised.
“A lot depends on market forces, but we see 15 or so jobs being created over the next few years,” Mr Lyng said.
The new Ford operation will include sales of cars, vans and 4x4 vehicles, servicing of all makes of vehicles, supply of parts, bodywork repairs and a valeting service.
The MLM group are specialists in fleet sales and the supply and modification conversion of vehicles for disabled motorists. Their staff will look after all the paper work involved in the purchase of the latter, including the sorting of VRT and VAT returns and having the car modified to the individuals requirements.
Company chief, Michael Lyng has been in the motor trade over 38 years.
A Kilkenny team
He started as a petrol pump assistant in Boland’s of New Ross before being appointed junior sales assistant in 1974. Six years later he was appointed to the sales team by garage boss, John Boland.
Later, in 1990, he moved to the Ford organisation and joined Barry Pender Motors in Kilkenny before branching out on his own with Mitsubishi in 1996. The company opened the MLM operation in Carlow in 2005 with Mr Lyng’s son, Neil as boss and Offaly star, David Franks as Sales Manager.
The successful Kilkenny operations involve former Kilkenny star, James Ryall, Jamie Power, Conor Lyng and Matt Galavan on the sales teams, with Mr Lyng’s brother, Gerry as supervisor of the After Sales team.
The company Financial Controller is Padraig McCluskey from Kilmanagh.
“We are a Kilkenny team and we are proud of it,” Mr Lyng insisted. “We are open for all business involving Ford now, including any warranty work. The people to contact about this are Becky Dempsey or Gerry Lyng.
“This is a whole new challenge for our team, but it is one we are all looking forward to,” Mr Lyng concluded.
“In the current difficult economic conditions, this is a hugely positive development for Kilkenny city and county and of course for Ford,” commented Eddie Murphy, chairman and managing director, Ford Ireland. “The addition of Michael Lyng Motors to our network re-establishes the Ford link with our many customers in Kilkenny and its environs following the closure of Barry Pender Motors.”