Longtime Rome auto dealer Bob Williams said the publicity about a failed deal to sell his dealership to a Cartersville car dealer opened the door to a deal that has been consummated with the Greenway Auto Group, based in Florida. Williams confirmed that some of the static created by the deal with Terry Reid that fell through drew the attention of the Greenway management.
“It’s done, signed, sealed and delivered — it’s done,” Williams said Wednesday morning. “It’s going to take a week to 10 days to clean all of our stuff up and get it cleared out. They’re trying to get all of their people in. Their computers are running, so I just grabbed the phone for them.”
The new name of the dealership will be University Chrysler, Dodge, Jeep, and Ram of Rome. Mamadou Thiam is the new dealer. He came to Rome from a Greenway Auto Group store in Birmingham, Ala.
Thiam said one of his first objectives is to make the people of Rome aware that Greenway did not buy the local store to sell it.
“We’re in the Chrysler business,” Thiam said.
The company also has shops in Anniston and Florence, Ala., San Antonio, Texas, and Orlando, Fla.
“We have started venturing into smaller markets,” Thiam said. “We saw that this is a good town so why not come to Rome?”
Thiam said he anticipates some significant changes at the local Chrysler-Dodge store.
“We’re here to give people jobs. We have eight employees right now and before the end of the year I would like to have 30,” Thiam said. “That is the average size for the number of employees at every single dealership we own in smaller markets.”
Greenway has more than two dozen dealerships scattered across Florida, Tennessee, Alabama and Texas to go along with several in China.
“This is their first Georgia dealership,” Williams said.
The new dealer said Chrysler is one of the fastest growing brands in the U.S.
“We expect to gain some market share,” Thiam said. “Chrysler has not gained a lot of market share in Rome and we hope and pray we give people enough reason to give us an opportunity.”
Williams said he had a farm and is going to do some tinkering with it as well as continuing his involvement with the sports programs at Berry College.
“I’ve got stuff planned to do,” he said.