In our rural countryside, there are a few small-town family owned automobile dealerships in the shadow of big city mega-dealerships. Santaquin’s Tischner Ford is one such dealership. The business was started by Kathle Tischner in 1937, originally in Goshen, and then moved to the Santaquin location. Today Kathle’s oldest son, Kay is the dealership princpal and manager. Kay’s younger brother, Dave, runs the Sales and Finance Department. You will find other members of the extended Tischner family. They all care about the 80-year-old family tradition of treating customers with respect and dignity. Customer service leading to customer loyalty has been the hallmark of this little Ford dealership in Santaquin.
When asked how such a small family automobile dealership can exist with the competition that mega-dealerships north up I-15, Kay explained that they have had a long tradition with the local agricultural community and they are a low overhead business. They depend more on word of mouth advertising than the big dealerships. The automobile manufacturers obviously like the sales volume of the big dealerships, but they still recognize rural and small-town America. Kay added that their contract with the Ford Motor Company does specify the dealership must remain in the Tischner family domain.
Used car sales are an important part of their business and they are very selective in the vehicles they put up for sale because of the good reputation they want to maintain. New car and truck sales totals are split about evenly between the two. The maintenance department has always been an important part of the Tischner Ford business. Kay did pass on a funny story about a new pickup that needed to be towed in 60 miles from the west desert for warranty service. Ford Motor Company didn’t want to pay that much towing because the truck should have been towed to the nearest Ford Dealer. Kay had to explain that they were the nearest Ford Dealer. That is life at a rural automotive dealership.