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Swarthout Carries on C&O Ford Tradition
with Twin Rivers Fairbury Location

Current struggles with staffing shortages and declining rural populations are making it difficult for some business owners to find someone to take over when they are ready to move on. Fortunately, one long-time, local business will continue.
Steve Swarthout, owner of the Twin Rivers dealership in Beatrice, has recently taken ownership of the C&O Ford in Fairbury, taking over from Larry Cote. FJN recently spoke to Swarthout, who indicated he was glad for the chance to do business in Fairbury, “When I was a little kid, I actually went to school here, sixth, seventh and eighth grade. I always loved Fairbury and it was a goal to always get back here.”
Swarthout said, “I learned of an opportunity to be able to get back here in Fairbury. And with Larry, you know, he has built a great business, great reputation. I was honored to be able to try to carry it on.”
Swarthout is looking at some changes in the future and that will mean more employment opportunities for Fairbury, “We are purchasing the building next to us. So, we’re going to add tires for a little more maintenance. So, we will be looking for a couple of mechanics to help over there.”
Swarthout said, “That’s why I bought this business: one, the reputation; two, the mechanics that we have are top notch, as is the service manager. So, we’re just going to try to grow service also.”
“The plan is someday to build a new dealership within a couple of years. Someday, the goal is to have 20 to 25 employees and a bunch of Fords in Fairbury.”
Swarthout sells both new and used vehicles. Right now, the automotive industry is just one of many that are suffering from ongoing supply chain problems, “Right now it’s tough with getting new cars built.”
“It’s in fact, in the whole industry, actually. But we can get sold orders built. It may take a little while,” said Swarthout. “When I was a kid, that’s how you did it. You’d order your car and your family would wait. It’d be a big day when your car came in. It’s kind of back to those days again. You know, so we’ll grow our new inventory also. We’re also going to concentrate on us bringing a wide variety for lower priced to top line all makes all models. And we’ll bring that to Fairbury also.”
Swarthout noted that in Fairbury, he started with five employees and is up to nine, “So, you know our whole goal is to grow this, create some jobs. Just give back to the community.”


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