EVERETT — Epic Ford, an Everett auto dealership that’s been in business for over a half-century, has closed its doors.
Swickard changed the name from Brien Ford to Epic Ford.
The showroom and service bays are shuttered. The car lot is empty.
Swickard Auto Group did not respond to requests for comment.
Tom Richards, a resident of South Everett, was upset to learn that Epic Ford had closed.
“I’ve done business with them for a long time,” said Richards, 77.
For most of his life, he’s “bounced between Fords and Chevrolets,” he said. “I was shocked to see that they were out of business,” said Richards, who recently drove past the dealership and saw it was closed.
The Ford dealership at the corner of 52nd Street and Evergreen Way opened in 1971. That year, General Motors and Ford were the top-selling auto brands in the United States. GM had captured 44% of the market, followed by Ford with 25% and Chrysler at 14%. Toyota, a new entrant into the U.S. auto market, had less than a 3% share of sales, according to auto industry data.
In 2016, GM was still the best-selling U.S. brand, but it’s market share had dipped to 17%, followed by Ford at 15% and Toyota with 14%. Fiat Chrysler Automobiles was fourth at 13%.
At the start of the 1970s, gas-guzzling muscle cars, including the Ford Mustang, were still kings of the road.
But the newly formed Environmental Protection Agency was shifting into high gear. Empowered by the Clean Air Act of 1970, the federal agency called on automakers to cut vehicle emissions 90 percent by 1975.
Swickard Auto Group operates eight auto dealerships in Washington, including Swickard Toyota in Edmonds.
In all, Swickard operates more than two dozen auto dealerships in Washington, Oregon, California, Texas and Alaska, according to the company’s website.
However, Epic Ford was the company’s only Ford dealership, according to the website.
A recorded message left on Epic Ford’s telephone confirms the facility’s closure.
“While we are no longer in business, we do have three great choices for you that can handle all your sales, service and parts needs,” the message said.
The recording advises customers to contact Harris Ford Lincoln in Lynnwood, Bickford Ford in Snohomish or Kendall Ford of Marysville.