A Phil White auto dealership has been an institution in the Rim Country for 30 years. Come Nov. 1, that tradition will end. After almost a year of negotiations, Steve Coury is purchasing Phil White Ford.
Randy White, Phil White's brother and sales manager of the dealership, made the announcement earlier this month, and then he and Steve Coury sat down with the Roundup for an interview about the sale and the future of the business.
Randy White will retain his post, as will his son, Rolley, who is in the service department. Coury will also be keeping the rest of the employees who have been serving their neighbors at the company.
"The only thing that is going to change is the name," Coury said.
"We want everyone to know this will remain a Ford dealership," Randy White said.
"As most people know, Phil's health is not the best," White said.
"We started talking about what to do with the company around the first of the year and Steve stopped by and inquired. He said if we were thinking about selling -- then or at any time in the future -- he would like to be considered."
Once a price was settled on, the long process of getting all the paperwork in place began. This involved transferring the Ford franchise and all the multiple licenses an auto dealership is required to hold.
The Rim Ford dealership is the second Ford operation for Coury. He currently holds one in Cottonwood, along with a Buick, GMC and Pontiac dealership in Camp Verde.
Coury's family has been in the auto industry in Arizona for more than 50 years. Members of the family have a company in Prescott and operations in the Valley.
Coury's operation in Star Valley will stay the same.
"Our families are both from Mesa," Randy White said. "We have known one another for probably 50 years. We went to the same schools. Both Phil and I feel we are handing the business to a capable, customer-friendly dealer. The business will continue and improve with Steve's leadership."
Through Steve Coury's Car Connection in Star Valley, Coury has become familiar with the Rim Country.
"It's a great community and we want to be part of it. It has a prosperous-looking future," Coury said.
Coury has been the leading new car dealer in the Verde Valley for seven years.
"I'm a big believer in the American automobile and American products. America builds the best autos and that is why Ford trucks have stayed number one all these years," he said.
Ford has been the leader in the truck industry for 30 years and the new Taurus has the highest rating for safety in the industry.
While a grand opening date has not been set, Coury said residents of the Rim Country can look forward to plenty of celebration deals.
"Phil wants to thank all our loyal customers and friends who have supported him the many years he's been here," Randy White said.