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Junge Ford readies for grand opening

Carries on legacy of Oxford’s Carter Ford
Junge Ford opened at 525 N. Madison Ave. in North Liberty on March 7. A third incarnation of the service center and dealership, the new Junge Ford location will host a grand opening celebration Friday, May 18. (photo by Cale Stelken)

NORTH LIBERTY– A local service center and dealership has recently extended its radius as the Junge Auto Group makes a new home in North Liberty. The new location opened in March with plans for a grand opening celebration starting Friday, May 18.

Spiritual successor

Junge Ford North Liberty carries on the legacy of a longtime Oxford business, Carter Ford. Junge Auto Group purchased the reputable dealership from Mary Ann Carter and Carole Hebl, the widow and daughter of former owner Ted Carter.
Its history dates back to January 1974, when the Highland School District teacher and his wife purchased Salter Motor Co. in Oxford, and as far back as 1919 under previous ownerships. Carter died on Aug. 23, 2014, just months after his business reached a 40-year milestone. The dealership officially closed in August 2016.
When it came time to choose a location for Carter Ford’s spiritual successor and the third Junge Ford location, the growing community of North Liberty was the obvious choice. And the inherent Oxford lineage has certainly not been lost on the Junges, who look to uphold the customer service-oriented values of the Carter family a few miles east of the former Oxford business.
“We’ve actually had a lot of the Oxford customers come on in and check out the store and tell some stories,” said Junge Ford General Sales Manager Ryan Faul, adding that a spot in the showroom is dedicated to the Carter Ford store.
“One of my customers just bought a used Explorer there as a tribute to our family,” Hebl noted of the new location. “They said that it felt like they were buying from a piece of Carter Ford, and that made them feel good.”
“I miss that– the customers. Most of our customers were more like friends or family to us,” she added. “It wasn’t a sell; it was helping our friends with their car needs.”
In similar fashion, Junge Ford traces its roots back to Vinton in 1976, where Gary Junge ran a Standard service center. He eventually started selling cars and moved the business to Center Point in 1990, which has since remained Junge’s flagship store. A second store later opened in Hiawatha. Today, Gary runs the company with his son, Jason.
“Service has always been the bread and butter of their whole foundation of a dealership,” Faul said, citing their parallels to the Carter family’s approach. “Fix it right the first time; make sure you’re taking care of your customers not just when they purchase vehicle, but down the road if they need an oil change, if they need a light bulb fix– just letting them know that we’re always there.”

Junge Ford
North Liberty

525 N. Madison Ave. North Liberty
Monday through Friday:
8:30 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Saturday: 8:30 a.m. to 4 a.m.
Sunday: Closed
Sales: 866-922-0830
Service: 888-376-0642
Parts: 888-668-5080

Grand opening

Junge Ford North Liberty had initially opened a temporary location at 2905 W. Penn St. on Sept. 26, 2017. Having since moved to its permanent location at 525 N. Madison Ave., the store is preparing for a grand opening celebration on Friday, May 18, from 8:30 a.m. to 9 p.m. and Saturday, May 19, from 8:30 p.m. to 5 p.m.
Hy-Vee will provide a grill for the lunch hour, when the dealership plans to invite the store’s construction crew, local businesses and the community for a lunch hour grill-out. The store will also have 98.1 KHAK and Z 102.9 live radio remotes on the ground, and Jimmy Jack’s Rib Shack will cater an evening meal with a live band to close out the day.
Saturday will offer a chance to win prizes and discounts on vehicles, and a truck pull will showcase F-series pickups pulling a John Deer lawnmower and possibly a boat. Metro Harley-Davidson out of Cedar Rapids, longtime friends of the Junges, will build a motorcycle to be displayed in the showroom and raffled off, with all the proceeds going to the University of Iowa Children’s Hospital.
The event will promote the Junges’ continued effort to remain a reliable fixture of the local community, and Faul said the new location looks to become a cornerstone of support to Liberty High School, just as Carter Ford was for Clear Creek Amana.
“I’ve worked some big dealers, and the Junge name is just a great name to work for,” Faul said. “They’re great people; they’re here all the time; they’re hands-on. It’s family owned and operated, so it’s good to be part of something like that.”