R.M. Stoudt a fourth-generation Ford dealership
R.M. Stoudt has been in business for 81 years.
Editor's note: This story and accompanying photo are advertorial content that is part of the 2022 "Jamestown Has It" special edition of The Jamestown Sun. The annual Progress Edition features stories on unique experiences in small business, dining and culture in Jamestown.
R.M. Stoudt, a fourth-generation business started in 1941, has been in business for 81 years because R.M. Stoudt Sr. was cordial, generous and honorable, which set a high standard for each generation to live up to, said Casey Stoudt, owner of the dealership.
R.M. Stoudt Sr., who is Casey Stoudt’s grandfather, always had a book that included donations to places such as a church, the Salvation Army and Camp Rokiwan, among others.
“It was just line after line after line, month after month after month that he was always supporting to his ability all of the activities throughout the community,” he said, referring to his grandfather's book that listed his donations. “I think that wore off on us as well.”
Stoudt, who started working at the dealership in 1971, said donating and community involvement are traditions that were carried through his father. His sons, Casey Jason and Kelly, are involved with dealership operations as well.
During the coronavirus pandemic, Stoudt said he thought there were too many vehicles on the lot because everyone was staying home.
“For a short time, for three or four months we were correct,” he said. “Very shortly after that, we found out that we were wrong.”
He said people didn’t want to be cooped up at home and found the one place they could be where they could control their environment was inside their vehicles.
Stoudt said Ford discovered it can please customers better if a customer is comfortable ordering a vehicle and having it built for the individual.
“One of the reasons is it doesn’t sit on the lot for 90 days or six months,” he said.
He said dealerships pay lots of money in interest to stock the vehicles on their lots.
“If a customer can order their car, pick it up the day after it gets here, it takes all of that extra expense out of a car dealer,” he said.
R.M. Stoudt has a good balance of used vehicles and new vehicles that are being delivered for its customers, Stoudt said.
He said Ford is getting into electric vehicles and the one that is getting the most interest is the electric pickup. He said Ford expected to presell 110,000 Ford F-150 Lightning electric trucks but has about 175,000 orders.
“It’s going to be a huge nationwide change,” he said, referring to the production of electric vehicles.