Livonia’s Bill Brown Ford deemed No. 1 Ford dealership in the world

LIVONIA, Mich. – A Wayne County Ford dealership has been ranked as the No. 1 Ford dealership in the world.

Tom Brown, of Bill Brown Ford, couldn’t contain his excitement. “We’re tickled, kind of on cloud nine right now!”

The Livonia dealership is officially the best in the world.

For decades, a dealership in LA had the crown. But three years ago, a dealership in Tampa knocked them off the top spot. The Tampa crew built themselves a trophy with plenty of blank spots to fill, but so far, the prize is staying here in Metro Detroit.

”It’s great, and they sell a lot of vehicles here, and this is the Motor City; it should be that way,” said longtime customer Michael Grudnicki.

Based on new car sales, Bill Brown Ford is the best dealership in the world - two years running. ”You know, the nicest thing we got last year, the dealership in Florida sent us a trophy the size of the Stanley Cup and it was the coolest thing,” Brown said.

Korean War veteran Clyde Moore has been buying vehicles from the same salesperson for decades. “I live close to another dealer, but I always come here,” Clyde said. “That’s what I’ve been doing for 38 years. Everybody says ‘why do you drive all the way out there?’ Cause I like it.” For Moore and others, Ford is in the family.

Grudnicki was a product development technician. He followed in his grandfather’s footsteps and his son did the same. ”It’s my whole family buying cars and it’s a big legacy,” said Grudnicki.

No small feat for this Livonia dealership.

“People can take their business four miles in each direction, and they’re going to have a competitor. That’s the thing, you can take anything for granted. Bad experience? You can find another ford dealer in the Metro area, pretty much everywhere,” said Brown. Brown comes from a long line of gearheads. “I’m a fifth generation car dealer, so we go back to the early 1900s in Sandusky, Michigan, a horse and tackle store that sold model T’s on the side, so it goes way way back.”

During WWII, Tom’s grandfather Ed Brown opened a Ford dealership in Brightmore. The Livonia location opened in 1954. Brown credits their longevity to the workers and the culture.

The dealership is closed on weekends and building personal connections with the community is a priority. ”I know a couple of mechanics, I know the service manager, and my order writer takes care of me,” said Grudnicki.

Selling roughly 6,000 -7,000 new cars every year, many to repeat customers.

”I never owned anything but a Ford product,” said Moore. “I had my first Ford at 14 before I got my license. So at 16, I started driving and drove Ford ever since.”

About the Author:

Priya joined WDIV-Local 4 in 2013 as a reporter and fill-in anchor. Education: B.A. in Communications/Post Grad in Advanced Journalism