Derek Dubie, left, Dennis Dubie, Cooper Erickson and Nancy Kolac pose with the trophy for the 50-year partnership between Toyota and K-M Motors.
NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — A lot has changed in the last 50 years, but K-M Motors' relationship with Toyota hasn't.
For that, Toyota Regional General Manager Cooper Erickson awarded the shop with a glass trophy during a brief ceremony Thursday morning at K-M Motors' Curran Highway showroom.
"It's been a great relationship, a great product," said Dennis Dubie, owner of K-M Motors. "The relationship of Toyota and K-M has been fantastic."
Erickson credited K-M Motors, the second oldest Toyota dealership in New England, with taking the risk with Toyota, and then following through with daily operations.
"What made Toyota great was entrepeneurs who wanted to take a chance [with Toyota]," Erickson said. "Toyota was no sure thing in 1963."
Mayor Richard Alcombright also spoke highly of the store, noting its "tremendous customer service" and great location at the "busiest corridor" in the city.
Erickson also recognized office manager Nancy Kolac, who has been working at K-M Motors for those 50 years. She was awarded a gift certificate to Cranwell Resort, Spa and Golf Club in Lenox.
Kolac said the dealership changed a lot since she began working there in 1963. Throughout the earlier years, she worked with a lot of her family — including her father Henry Kolac, the founder of K-M Motors. Since then, the rest of the family moved on.
Nancy Kolac received a gift certificate to Cranwell Resort, Spa and Golf Club in recognition of her 50 years on the staff.
Kolac said some things are still the same. Her appreciation of customers, who she considers more as friends than customers, as well as the challenges the store and those friends face.
"It's almost like you had the same struggle as back then with the economy," Kolac said.
Dubie said K-M Motors is the only new-car retailer in North Adams, believing the waves of recessions have left them the last standing. He said that designation is special, but feels empathetic toward other owners who discontinued service because of the difficult times in the industry.
Henry Kolac first opened K-M Motors, formerly known as Nash North Adams, in 1945. The store was later renamed to K-M Motors after taking a different franchise.
Dubie joined K-M Motors in 1980, partnering with Henry Kolac. After Kolac's death in 1991, Dubie took sole ownership. His son Derek Dubie is the general manager of the shop.
K-M Motors has two locations. The offices at 51 West Main St. does sales, service, body work and sells parts. The 1300 Curran Highway location has the showroom.
New North Adams Taxi Service Begins Operations
By John Durkan On: 06:37PM / Thursday September 13, 2012
"It's taken a few months to put the program together," Cariddi, who also owns Cariddi's Autos on Curran Highway, said on the company's first day. "We didn't rush into it, we wanted to make sure we had all the latest and greatest as far as computer programming goes."
Cariddi said each of his three taxis — a 2003 Ford Windstar, a 2004 red Ford Free Star and a 2000 white Jeep Cherokee — are equipped with a tablet and GPS that are connected to a dispatcher. The dispatcher can quickly locate the closest cab to send out and can monitor each trip.
In addition, the driver can use a touchscreen to communicate with the dispatcher and a program will map out the route and determine the price prior to the ride.
Cariddi said the progression from Tunnel City Transport, which has run as a livery service in North Adams for about three years in conjunction with the BerkshireRides Program, felt that this next step was "a natural next progression."
Cariddi stands next to the 2003 Ford Windstar.
"Our goal is just to provide good quality service that people can rely on," Cariddi said.
This service, in addition to the taxis, now expands with trips as far out to Albany, N.Y., and Bradley international airports, as well as both the Springfield and Albany train stations and other local transportation centers.
Cariddi said the next move for the business is to upgrade its payment service to include debit and credit cards.
Tunnel City Taxi is available for on-call service from 7 a.m. until 7 p.m. daily, with day-advance car reservation service from 4 a.m. through midnight and then 7 p.m. until midnight, and can be reached at 413-663-8294 (663-TAXI).
Gas Prices Up 50 Cents Over Last Year
By: AAA Southern New England On: 01:51PM / Monday February 07, 2011
PROVIDENCE, R.I. — One week after showing no movement, gasoline prices in Massachusetts are back up this week, the ninth week out of the last 10 in which prices have risen, according to AAA Southern New England.
AAA's Feb. 7 survey of prices in Massachusetts found self-serve, regular unleaded averaging $3.119 per gallon, one cent higher than last week. The current price is a penny below the national average for self-serve unleaded of $3.12. A year ago at this time, the Massachusetts average price was $2.65.
The range in prices in the latest AAA survey for unleaded regular is 26 cents, from a low of $2.99 to a high of $3.25. AAA advises motorists to shop around for the best prices in their area, and to make sure they and their passengers buckle up — every time.
Find the most up-to-date local gas prices with the AAA Fuel Finder by logging onto AAA.com and clicking on Gas Saving Tips & Tools.
Today's Local Gas Prices
AAA Fuel Saving Tip of the Week
Plan ahead. When running errands, try to combine multiple tasks into one trip. Several short trips starting with a cold engine each time can use twice as much gas as a longer multipurpose trip covering the same distance when the engine is warm. Also, plan the route in advance to drive the fewest miles.
NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — All the cars at Carbone Ford-Mercury on Route 2 should be gone by the end of the weekend.
On Friday, staff began driving the vehicles to a brand-new $4 million location in Bennington, Vt., which will open on Monday. Carbone Auto Group purchased the former Haddad dealership about two years ago and constructed the new location adjacent to its current Toyota lot on North Bennington Road.
"We are moving cars as we speak," said Michael Larochelle, a sales associate for Carbone, on Friday. "We should be completely out this weekend."
Carbone Ford-Mercury is the latest Berkshire County dealership to close. The dealership will reopen in Vermont.
Closing the State Road location has been in the works for about three years. In 2008, Carbone purchased the dealership from Haddad Motors with the plan of moving it to Bennington. The company was expecting construction to last shortly more than a year.
Construction on the new 27,000-square-foot showroom began in April and was not expected to be complete until the spring 2011. Ahead of schedule, the dealership will have a soft opening on Monday.
"It's a brand-new location. I think I heard it cost $4 million," Larochelle said. "I assume they'll do some type of grand opening."
New car dealerships have continued to leave the county, or consolidate. North County is now down to three new-car dealerships — K&M Toyota in North Adams, McAndrews-King GMC in Adams and the massive Bedard Brothers Auto Sales in Cheshire.
In 2007, Bedard Brothers Auto Sales purchased and consolidated Gateway, formerly known as Shapiro Chevrolet, on Union Street. That dealership was added to the company's Cheshire location. In 2009, Berkshire GMC in Sheffield closed when GMC closed 1,100 of its dealerships.
The dealership at 179 State Road was known for years as Dick Scarafoni Ford and later as Calgary Motors. Carbone's consolidation leaves another large, empty commercial property in the city. The former Gateway site still has not found new tenants although it is being used for leasing vehicle storage space. Both locations are owned by Scarafoni Associates.