Brian Toliver Ford isn’t just a family-owned business in Sulphur Springs, it’s also a family-managed business in which the owners work as a team with their employees to provide a full service dealership.
The Tolivers – father Brian and sons Brent and Jonathan – moved to Sulphur Springs from Sweetwater after selling a car dealership there. Brian and Brent came to Hopkins County in August 2006 with the purchase of the Ford and Lincoln dealership, and Jonathan (who was working for a dealership in Dallas) joined them two years later.
“We had a previous dealership in Sweetwater,” Brian said. “We had the opportunity to sell it and we wanted to buy another small-town dealership, and we selected this one. It’s been a blessing for us.”
Brent, general manager, and Jonathan, sales manager, are fourth-generation car dealers, and Brian was one of the youngest car dealers in the nation when he got into the business at the age of 21.
Together with 36 employees, the Tolivers do it all. You may see them washing a car on a busy Saturday, helping boost off a vehicle or delivering a truck.
But, they are quick to point to their dedicated employees and the team they form as the main reason Toliver Ford is a success.
“We have a mission here to satisfy the customer,” Brian said. “Customer satisfaction is the ultimate goal, whatever needs to be done. That’s the way the three of us conduct our business.”
Brent added, “Our philosophy is to treat people the way you want to be treated. Our employees care about our customers just as much as we do. We have employees who will bend over backwards for our customers. We’ve been blessed to have a good team of people.”
The people at Toliver Ford do it all with new and used car sales, service, parts and body departments.
“We’re not just selling you a car then never seeing you again,” Jonathan said.
The figures back up that statement. Toliver Ford and Lincoln has one of the highest percentages in the nation of “return to dealers” figures for 10-year-old cars and newer.
That includes a customer in Del Rio, who had a two vehicles delivered to him last week by Toliver Ford, a 16-hour drive. It’s a customer who the Tolivers have dealt with for years and earned his trust.
“There’s nothing like the total satisfaction of pleasing a customer,” Brian said.
“Really at the end of the day, you want to be the go-to guy,” said Brent. “People come to see us because they trust us. When you have the loyalty of customers coming back and back, it’s a great feeling.”
Located at 1040 Gilmer St., Toliver Ford has been in the same location for decades and some employees have been there since before the turn of the century. That allows customers the comfort of familiarity.
It also helps that the Tolivers believe in the products they sell, and well they should. The Ford F-150, for example, is the top-selling vehicle in the United States.
“We think we can represent any vehicle desire that someone has,” Brian said. “We like being a small, family-owned dealership that can relate to the people we deal with.”
It’s a feeling shared by his sons.
“I really like talking to customers and getting to know people,” Jonathan said. “I like getting to hear their stories, earning their trust and genuinely caring about people. I really like dealing with the day-to-day business when it comes to people.”
Settling in East Texas were Brian and Leesa, a retired school administrator; Brent and Susan and their children, Claire, 3, and Will, 1; and Jonathan and Sally and their infant son, Davis.
After moving from West Texas and becoming rooted in Hopkins County, Brent said the decision to come here was a good one.
“This is a thriving area,” he said. “This is a place to be long term for Jonathan and I. You want a business that’s going to be around for your kids. That’s one of the things that brought us to Sulphur Springs – it’s a thriving community.”
And Toliver For is one of the reasons why.
Toliver Ford is located at 1040 Gilmer St. in Sulphur Springs. You can also find them on the internet at
www.briantoliverford.com or phone them at 903-885-0502.
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