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Springfield, MO

John Youngblood is taking the Dodge, Ram, Chrysler and Jeep brands to Ozark.
SBJ photo by Wes Hamilton
John Youngblood is taking the Dodge, Ram, Chrysler and Jeep brands to Ozark.

Corwin, Youngblood shuffle dealership rights

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Last edited 9:30 a.m., Nov. 13, 2017

Corwin Automotive Group was awarded the Springfield Jeep and Chrysler dealerships in the last month, amid Youngblood Auto Group’s entrance into Ozark.

Youngblood Auto owner John Youngblood said Chrysler officials approached the company and asked them to consider taking part of their business to Ozark. In turn, Youngblood would receive the additional Dodge and Ram brand names to sell.

“It was Chrysler’s decision, not ours,” Youngblood said. “(Corwin) got two, I got two.”

Youngblood set his sights roughly seven miles to the south, and on Oct. 4 opened a Chrysler Dodge Jeep Ram dealership at 6151 N. 21st St. in Ozark. The property was previously a Dodge dealership owned by Rufus Church, who died from a gunshot wound inside the business in an unsolved case from 2009.

Previously, Youngblood held the Chrysler and Jeep dealership rights, while Corwin Automotive operated with Dodge and Ram. Because the four brands were split up in one marketplace between two dealers, Chrysler officials thought two separate dealers with all four brands in separate cities made more sense.

For Fargo, North Dakota-based Corwin, it’s another move to grow market share in Springfield after its second-quarter purchase of the city’s longtime Ford dealership. Corwin operating partner Jeff McConville said no money was exchanged in transferring the Jeep and Chrysler dealership rights.

“We’ve already seen a substantial impact,” he said of the 250 new cars that have begun to arrive at the 1025 W. Sunshine St. lot. “We feel like we can sell another 50 (vehicles) a month.”

Before obtaining Jeep and Chrysler, McConville said the company was selling roughly 450 new and used vehicles a month. In the last month, McConville said Corwin has staffed up with another 10 salesmen and technicians hired. He’d like to hire another 10 soon.

The 50-year-old Corwin company now sells new Dodge, Ram, Chrysler, Jeep and Fiat vehicles in Springfield. The company first entered the Springfield market in 2012 through the purchase of local dealership Central Dodge, and in May expanded through its acquisition of Friendly Ford at 3241 S. Glenstone Ave.

Youngblood’s Kia and Nissan dealerships remain at 3410 S. Campbell Ave. and 3505 S. Campbell Ave., respectively.

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