Don Gasgarth, who founded his Gasgarth Ford dealership on Tamiami Trail in Port Charlotte in 1990, recently sold his business.
The new owners are brothers Brian and Bill Jarrett and their partner Cliff Martin, who will serve as general manager.
Gasgarth said he’s known them since the early 1990s, and that “they are quality people.”
Also, when the Jarretts and Martin approached him about selling, he said, he took “the opportunity to sell to people who are community-oriented and treat customers the way that I like.”
The dealership, which sold on Dec. 7, has been renamed Jarrett Ford of Charlotte County. Martin said the Jarretts own five other dealerships in Central Florida: Dade City, where Martin was a partner for 16 years; Avon Park (opened in 1980), Plant City (1995), Davenport (1998), and Winter Haven (2004).
“We will keep all the employees,” emphasized Martin, adding that the company has given Gasgarth an office in one of the buildings. “Bill, Brian, and I have a good relationship with Don.”
Gasgarth said it will take several months to finish the paperwork from when he owned the dealership.
“There are always things to do as you wind down the store,” he said.
A grand opening is planned, but the process is “quite involved” when a dealership exchanges owners, Martin said. Also, Ford executives would be present at the grand opening, which is expected to take place in “two to three months,” he added.
Martin related that “overall, auto sales are down nationally because assembly plants were closed for two months — April to May — due to the pandemic.” He said that normally 17 million cars would be sold, but this year 15 million or less were sold. However, he said that “demand is pretty good and sales are not too bad.” He said trucks are the most popular vehicle.
Gasgarth said he is looking forward to spending time with his wife and with his three grandchildren, who are all under the age of 3.
“There are lots of things that we’d like to do,” he said.