Ernest McCarty opens renovated dealership

Alabaster officials and Greater Shelby County Chamber of Commerce members hold a ribbon cutting ceremony at the new Ernest McCarty Ford dealership in Alabaster on Aug. 21. (Reporter Photo/Neal Wagner)

Alabaster officials and Greater Shelby County Chamber of Commerce members hold a ribbon cutting ceremony at the new Ernest McCarty Ford dealership in Alabaster on Aug. 21. (Reporter Photo/Neal Wagner)

By NEAL WAGNER / Managing Editor

ALABASTER – In the decades Ernest McCarty Ford co-owner Lee McCarty has been working with the dealership, he said he has never had a feeling like he did the first time he walked into the shop’s updated showroom a few weeks ago.

“It was a ‘wow’ moment,” Lee McCarty, son of the dealership’s namesake, said a few minutes before he, his co-workers, city officials and Greater Shelby County Chamber of Commerce representatives held a ribbon-cutting ceremony on the updated dealership. “I hope we are here another 31 years.”

Over the past several months, crews have been working to update and modernize the building’s façade, transforming it from a traditional shingled roof building to a flowing, metal-heavy look.

Ernest McCarty said the design especially placed emphasis on all areas customers come in contact with, including the showroom, sales offices, the receptionist’s desk and bathrooms.

“We wanted to make it as customer-friendly as we could,” Ernest McCarty said. “This is our first major renovation in 31-and-a-half years.”

During the ribbon cutting ceremony, Ford Motor Company Regional Sales Manager Tim Witt praised Ernest McCarty’s history in the automotive industry, which stretches back to 1955 in downtown Birmingham. After working for several dealerships in Alabama and Georgia, Ernest McCarty opened his Ford dealership in Alabaster in 1983.

“The late ‘70s and early ‘80s were the worst times to be in the car business,” Witt said. “It goes to show you what a great operator (McCarty) is. I sincerely thank him for that.

“I just can’t thank you enough for your commitment to the brand,” Witt said.