EDITOR'S NOTE: This is the first in a series of online profiles on eight local vehicle dealerships in Cornwall and area. Check back regularly over the next few weeks for more.
CORNWALL, Ontario - Miller-Hughes Ford in Cornwall has built its reputation on decades of solid business practices and customer interactions.
And now it is taking those same fundamentals and coupling them with increased use of the Internet and social media, to help propel its brand into the future.
Shawn Maloney, owner of Miller-Hughes, said in an interview the dealership makes it a point to engage vehicle buyers and sellers in any medium they feel comfortable with - be it online or in person.
"We've sold vehicles to people in Thunder Bay, Sault St. Marie and Hamilton," he said. "If your design is really solid, and you have good pictures and as much information as you can find on a vehicle - then there's a lot of trust that you can build right from the get-go."
Maloney said often people will drive by the dealership at the corner of Pitt and Seventh streets in Cornwall and a vehicle will catch their eye. That person will in turn head over to the website and gather more information on a vehicle, before paying a visit to the dealership to check it out in person.
"It's been really successful for us," said Maloney. "It creates a more secure environment when you buy."
In addition to the footprint Miler-Hughes is leaving online, ownership hasn't forgotten its history.
The dealership was opened in 1956 by Wes Miller and Irving Hughes. The duo sold the operation to Ellery Maloney, a Ford employee in Toronto, who was looking to make the move back to his hometown in 1969.
Maloney kept the Miller-Hughes moniker as he wanted to capitalize on the reputation the dealership had already created.
Shawn Maloney came on in 1986 and became a partner in 1991.
In 2006 Miller-Hughes purchased Healy Motors and added the Lincoln component to its brand.
In 2011, after consulting with its customers, Miller-Hughes undertook a massive renovation that was completed one year ago.
Miller-Hughes has always given back to the communities it serves, sponsoring many recreational events, educational institutions, hospitals and theatre to enrich the lives of customers.