By: Andy McKeever On: 03:45AM / Saturday January 08, 2011
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.