Apple Auto To Open April 1 in Elkton, Maryland

Mar 23, 2016 - 2 minute read

a car dealership with a large sign on the front of the building that says appleauto drive us

This article was published in the Cecil Whig on March 23rd, 2016 and can be found here.By Cheryl Mattix

I recently stopped at the former Ramsey Ford dealership, which is now displaying the Apple Autosign, to find out what’s going on.

I discovered it’s a tale of what’s old is new again.

George L. Doetsch Jr., of Columbia, has owned the land and the building since 1978, when he purchased it from Warren Boulden. Doetsch operated it as Tristate Ford from 1978 to 1982, when he sold the business but not the real estate.

In the 34 years since, the business has changed several times from Tristate Ford toQuality Ford to Advantage Ford andRamsey Ford.

When Ramsey Ford made the decision to move across the highway and build a state-of-the-art facility, the doors opened for Doetsch to return to Elkton as a car dealer.

“I love Cecil County,” Doetsch said during an interview Friday.

“It’s a good piece of real estate in Elkton,” he said of his property on Route 40. “I’m really excited about getting back up there.”

Doetsch has remained friends with H. Norman Wilson, a longtime practicing attorney in Elkton, since they met at the University of Maryland, along with a handful of other old friends from Cecil County.

Apple Ford Elkton will focus on sales of previously owned cars and trucks – not new vehicles. It will also provide repair service, and Doetsch is currently in the process of getting the place open for sales.

The target opening date is April 1.

“We’ve done some cleaning, painting and other rehabilitation to the building,” Doetsch said. Plans include new parking lot and lighting as well, he explained.

Doetsch hired Shawn McLaughlin, of Harford County, a man with nearly 30 years experience in car and truck sales in the region, as the general manager. McLaughlin has been overseeing the renovations on site for several weeks.

Doetsch, who is now semi-retired, began his career in the automotive industry as a mechanic at age 17. 

Since then, he’s evolved into the management and ownership areas of the business. In 1987 he bought the Monument Ford franchise in Baltimore, which was relocated to Columbia, Maryland as Apple Ford in 1994.

He became chairman of Apple Ford in 2002, when his son George “Chip” Doetsch III took over as president and CEO of Apple Ford.

Watch for signs of its opening day.

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