Celebrating 50 years of car sales

B&B Dodge’s Steve Carmody Sr. talks about how things have changed

Posted 12/1/21

HONESDALE, PA — Half a century of car sales is impressive. So is the way the business has grown.

B&B Dodge Inc., which sells Chrysler, Dodge, Jeep and Ram vehicles, is a family-run …

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Celebrating 50 years of car sales

B&B Dodge’s Steve Carmody Sr. talks about how things have changed

On April 26, 1970, surrounded by their employees, three brothers from Honesdale opened B&;B Dodge. Pictured are Wes Weber, left, Bill Tennant, Gary Peck, Agnes Weidner, Bob..Carmody, Bob McKinnell, John Carmody, Dennis Jennings, Steve Carmody, Art Meyer and Charlie Schaff. Marking 50 years since three Carmody brothers purchased  he Dodge automobile franchise in Honesdale,.Mason Carmody, left, Stephen Carmody Jr., John Carmody and Stephen Carmody Sr. welcomed John M. Mack, director of Chrysler Group’s mid-Atlantic business center to the dealership.
LEFT: On April 26, 1970, surrounded by their employees, three brothers from Honesdale opened B&;B Dodge. Pictured are Wes Weber, left, Bill Tennant, Gary Peck, Agnes Weidner, Bob..Carmody, Bob McKinnell, John Carmody, Dennis Jennings, Steve Carmody, Art Meyer and Charlie Schaff.
Photo contributed by B&B Dodge
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Photo by Bob Jennings, contributed by B&B Dodge
Posted

HONESDALE, PA — Half a century of car sales is impressive. So is the way the business has grown.

B&B Dodge Inc., which sells Chrysler, Dodge, Jeep and Ram vehicles, is a family-run business that opened in April 1970. That year three Carmody brothers—John Sr., Robert, and Stephen (Steve) Sr.—purchased the Dodge automobile dealership franchise in Honesdale.

In case you’re wondering, B&B comes from two former franchise owners named Bob and Bill.

Last year, the company passed its 50-year anniversary, but the COVID-19 pandemic interrupted plans to mark the event. But this October, the Carmodys welcomed John M. Mack, Dodge’s mid-Atlantic business center director, who came in person to thank the B&B team and present a plaque commemorating their five-decade relationship.

A lot has happened in 50 years. In 1970, the dealership had nine employees; today there are 40 full- and part-time jobs. Of the original Carmody partners, Robert, who became a county commissioner in the 1980s, sold his share of the business in 1988 to John and Steve. and purchased a local real estate agency. John Sr. still runs the service department and serves as company president; while Steve Sr. oversees the general business of the dealership.

Keeping it a family affair and representing the next generation are Steve Jr., who started in the sales department in 1995 and currently is sales manager; he serves as company treasurer. His son Mason Carmody is also in sales. Plus there are three Carmody sisters—Sue, Pat, and Nanci—who work at the business.

The business started small in 1970, and for the first 15 years, they ran everything on just two acres of land at 125 Grandview Ave., where it is still located. Then in 1985, the three founding partners bought an additional five acres, and in 1990, B&B built a new body shop.

In 2014, B&B’s plan to sell Jeep and Chrysler as well as Dodge vehicles became a reality when the first car was sold in a new building.

Looking back, Steve Sr. recalled some tough times too, such as when in the late 1970s “we got a real shake-up from Japanese vehicle imports,” he said. “Since then, the quality of our vehicles has improved immensely. Today we’re state-of-the-art.”

Technology has made all the difference. “For one thing, cars last longer now,” he said. “Under the hood, engines are smaller but turbocharged and more powerful, and along with nine-speed transmission, both performance and fuel economy are at their best. There are also benefits, thanks to advanced lane-change and collision-control sensors that help prevent accidents, not to mention the safety aspect of backup cameras.”

In B&B’s service department technology is changing things too. “Today a technician is more than a mechanic,” Steve Sr. observed. “When the mechanic steps into a vehicle and sits down with his laptop, he plugs in and monitors the car.”

And new technologies just keep on coming. Ram already makes a self-parking truck, and Jeep Wrangler and Chrysler Pacifica minivans are available as electric hybrids.

What does the future hold? By 2025, parent company Stellantis intends to electrify 98 percent of all its new models, with the vast majority being battery-electric vehicles. It has further set a goal to achieve 40 percent of its U.S. sales to be electric vehicles by 2030.

“Wherever this future takes us,” Steve Sr. said, “we’ll be here, serving our customers and working to keep them satisfied. It’s an honor to have served our community for 50 years.”

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