Thomp­son Mazda is now Thomp­son Used Cars

The Dundalk Eagle - - FRONT PAGE - By MIKE URSERY murs­ery@ches­

After more than 30 years as a Mazda car lot, Thomp­son Au­to­mo­tive has made the de­ci­sion to trans­form that lot into a used cars su­per­center.

Thomp­son Used Cars, as the lot is now called, lo­cated at 900 Merritt Blvd., opened in 1984. The busi­ness it­self has been fam­i­ly­owned and op­er­ated since 1929, when it opened as a gas sta­tion. Since then, it has grown into one of Dun­dalk’s most rec­og­niz­able new and used car deal­ers.

Joe L yons, di­rec­tor of op­er­a­tions at Thomp­son Used Cars, said the de­ci­sion was made to break from Mazda be­cause the car maker has moved to build­ing more pre­mium-priced ve­hi­cles, such as luxury ve­hi­cles, over re­cent years. Thomp­son Au­to­mo­tive wants to pro­vide Dun­dalk con­sumers with more af­ford­able ve­hi­cles.

“We had to an­a­lyze that and where we are, and this is the de­ci­sion we made,” L yons said. “We think we can ben­e­fit our­selves and the com­mu­nity much bet­ter by do­ing this.”

Leo Ho­jnowski, a gen­eral sales man­ager at Thomp­son Au­to­mo­tive, said 30 per­cent of their cur­rent in­ven­tory is priced be­low $10,000. An­other 30 per­cent is priced be­tween $10,000-$15,000.

“We’re go­ing to fo­cus on stuff that is $15,000 or less,” Ho­jnowski said. “That kind of stuff, and a qual­ity prod­uct at that price point is hard to find in the marketplac­e. That’s what we want to fo­cus on.”

Lyons said the com­pany’s lead­er­ship has thought about mak­ing this tran­si­tion to a used car lot for “quite some time.” When the COVID-19 pan­demic came, forc­ing state and lo­cal gov­ern­ments to spring into ac­tion and de­velop plans to mit­i­gate the spread of the virus, the time was right to make the switch, he said.

“With the way the used car mar­ket has in­creased over the last year, what we’re bring­ing here is a full-fledged used car oper­a­tion,” said Ron Thomp­son, vice pres­i­dent of Thomp­son Au­to­mo­tive Group. “Every­thing is just like a new car deal­er­ship, but it’s a used car deal­er­ship.”

“This will be full-fledged be­cause the amount of cars now is broke down com­pared to how new (cars) and used (cars) were sell­ing. It’s a big mar­ket, and we want to get into it big­ger than we have been.”

Lyons said that com­pany wide, the ra­tio of new car sales to used car sales cur­rently sits at 2:1 in fa­vor of new cars. Thomp­son Au­to­mo­tive Group wants to sell one used car for ev­ery new car that is sold, he said, or even flip the ra­tio so it’s 2:1 in fa­vor of used cars.

Thomp­son Au­to­mo­tive has been open since 1929, ac­cord­ing to Ho­jnowski. It orig­i­nally opened as a gas sta­tion named Try-Me Ser­vice Sta­tion, founded by first owner Ed­mund Thomp­son. The Try-Me Ser­vice Sta­tion man­aged to sur­vive the Great De­pres­sion, with Ed­mund Thomp­son us­ing a strat­egy to build a loyal cus­tomer base. He used that same busi­ness phi­los­o­phy to go into au­to­mo­tive sales, mark­ing the birth of Thomp­son Au­to­mo­tive Group.

He started with used cars, and by 1937, he was sell­ing new cars. Thomp­son Au­to­mo­tive Group saw steady growth through­out the years. The com­pany moved into a new, big­ger build­ing in 1940.

The build­ing that houses the Thomp­son Used Cars lobby, show­room and staff of­fices opened in 1984. The change from Thomp­son Mazda to Thomp­son Used Cars went into ef­fect on July 1.

Thomp­son Used Cars is open Mon­day-Fri­day from 9 a.m.-8 p.m., and on Satur­days from 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Those who wish to con­tact the sales de­part­ment can call 855-449-0301.


Fred Thomp­son (left), Joe Lyons (cen­ter) and Leo Ho­jnowski stand in the lot at Thomp­son Used Cars. For­merly called Thomp­son Mazda, the tran­si­tion to Thomp­son Used Cars went into ef­fect on July 1.

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