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VIDEO: Lakewood Ford Celebrates Five Years on Interstate 5 Near JBLM

General Manager Henry Krebs says the dealership has benefited from its location, which it moved to in 2007. Even though it, like other dealerships, saw sales dip as the country's financial health worsened, it's poised for a recovery.

Five years ago, moved from South Tacoma to its namesake city in search of a more business-friendly and growing community.

Of course, it doesn't hurt to perch directly off Interstate 5 to catch the eyes of passing drivers. It's also a few exits away from the largest joint military installation on the West Coast.

Lakewood Ford celebrated five years at its Pacific Highway location last month. It marked a milestone for the dealership that first opened in 1977.

No need to remind locals of the dealership's significance. Lakewood Ford is the city's first new car dealership, a fact that makes General Manager Henry Krebs especially proud.

“Lakewood is a young and evolving city,” he said “We are excited to be at the leading edge of it.”
 
According to Krebs, the city, as well as the community at-large have been supportive of the business. Lakewood Ford currently employs 90 people in sales, administration, service and parts roles, adding that the team sells the Ford brand line-up because of the automaker’s quality and innovation.

And of course, it's committed to helping Joint Base Lewis-McChord personnel and their families.

Like other businesses, Lakewood Ford saw a dip in sales as the nation fell into recession. It has taken three or four years to try and climb out of that, Krebs said.

"The auto industry is poised to make a recovery," he said. "We're going to be here for all of it."

Krebs also attributes the business’ success to giving back through charitable support every month. Lakewood Ford maintains numerous philanthropic commitments with Joint Base Lewis-McChord such as sponsoring veterans groups, softball teams and charitable golf tournaments.

Lakewood Ford also does a lot of charitable giving off the base like sponsoring the Lakewood Rotary, local Little League teams and the Relay for Life, which raises money to the American Cancer Society.

(Click on the media gallery to watch Patch's interview with Krebs about Lakewood Ford's first five years)

What do you think, Lakewood? Does Lakewood Ford provide a blueprint of how businesses can be successful in the city?

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