Appalachian Basin

#ShaleBenefits Series – Local Car Dealerships Accelerate Thanks to Shale

Over the coming weeks and months, Energy in Depth – Ohio will be taking an “in-depth” look (pun intended) at the positive impact the Utica shale is having across the state. This series will be called #ShaleBenefits and will highlight how the continued development of Ohio’s energy resources is creating a “Friday night lights” atmosphere, providing a genuine sense of pride in our communities.

It is helping people find work and, in turn, creating a more active consumer base for local businesses.

A trip to Shale Country, USA (in this case eastern Ohio) can provide a birds-eye view of this dynamic. A quick visit to Carroll County and elsewhere; small businesses -from restaurants and hotels to real estate and hardware stores- are already seeing the indirect benefits of expanding oil and natural gas development in the region.

Today, we highlight the positive impacts the Utica Shale is having on local car dealerships. EID-Ohio stopped by the Furey Chrysler Dodge Jeep and Loudon Motors Ford store to speak with some employees about how the dealerships are benefiting from increases in revenue generated by newly employed customers or those who have received financial reprieve from leasing bonuses and royalty payments.

John Furey, owner of Furrey Chrysler Dodge & Jeep, welcomed EID-Ohio heartily, and was eager to share his story about the family business, its history in Carroll County, and how it is prospering due to  oil & natural gas development.

Carroll County was one of the poorer counties in Ohio and now things have changed dramatically because of the oil and gas industry. – John Furey

Mr. Matthew Leeders, General Manager, tells us that Furey has seen an increase in business and explains how they are going to continue to meet the demand.

Over the last year we have seen a tremendous rise in truck business. – Matthew Leeders

Austin Furey, son of owner John Furey, talks about coming home because he was needed to work at the dealership because of the new business.

Because of the oil and gas industry I came home because required the dealership had to expand. – Austin Furey

Just down the road from Malvern in Minerva, I stopped at Loudon Motors Ford dealership and sat down with Mr. Jim Kohmann, General Manager, Loudon Motors Ford who discussed the additional sales and uptick they have seen in the service garage and elsewhere.

Attitudes have changed and people are really excited about what they are seeing in Carroll County. – Jim Kohmann

Tom Myers a third generation “Ford Man” provides a great perspective about how his hometown is being transformed and why, in his words, he is behind it “100%”.

This is a good thing and I am behind it 100%. -Tom Myers

Taking a look at Carroll County in a “then and now” perspective, it is clear this generation has the opportunity to  stake claim in a return to prosperity that has been missing from the region for some time.  As Scott Cole, owner of Cole Valley Chevrolet, tells the TribToday, “Going from a few years ago when you weren’t sure if General Motors was even going to be around, for this area it’s been a huge blessing.” (Dealers reap benefits from shale boom, 2/12/12)

Regardless of brand, dealership or county, these experiences are occurring  all over eastern Ohio. A rising tide lifts all ships, and, in this case, part of that tide is lifting our local care dealerships.  Of course, this is just one example, later pieces in this series will highlight other businesses benefiting as well.  Stay tuned for the great stories that reflect Ohio’s economic renaissance.


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