BUSINESS BEAT: ABH Car Sales in Grand Forks celebrates its 25th birthday, June 8

Grand Forks’ only car dealership will be celebrating its birthday with an open house, barbecue and prizes.

David Davies (left) and Ken Lazeroff of ABH Car Sales. ABH will be celebrating its 25th anniversary on June 8.

David Davies (left) and Ken Lazeroff of ABH Car Sales. ABH will be celebrating its 25th anniversary on June 8.

ABH Car Sales has been in the business of selling cars for 25 years.

On June 8, Grand Forks’ only car dealership will be celebrating its birthday with an open house, barbecue and prizes at its 2913 Central Avenue location.

Ken Lazeroff has been with ABH for 22 years and he still remembers when his dad first opened up shop in 1988.

“My father (Bill) was into logging but after some health issues, he decided to get into vehicle sales,” said Lazeroff.

“He started out small working out of an office at OK Tire.”

Now a quarter of a century later, they have a large lot along Highway 3 with nearly 50 vehicles on site, year-round.

Lazeroff said ABH specializes in low kilometre, extra clean, pre-owned vehicles.

“That’s what we have been known for, for a long time,” he said. “It’s what works for us.”

David Davies, also a longtime staff member of ABH, said the used car dealership model has been successful in Grand Forks because people have good options.

“We have Chevy, Ford and Dodge … if you like Toyotas, we have Toyotas, if you like Hondas, we have Hondas,” said Davies. “We have the variety and that is what makes (the business) work.”

Lazeroff estimates that 50 per cent of the vehicles are sold to out-of-towners.

“We sell a lot of vehicles to people from the Kootenays, Okanagan, all over B.C. and the farthest was New Zealand,” he said, as he described how a man bought a truck and then had it shipped down south.

Davies said that the Internet has really opened up the business.

“We also sold a vehicle to some place in Africa as well,” he said. “That’s really opened my eyes to w-w-w – it’s really world wide.”

Lazeroff said that business has changed over the years.

“With the Internet, we have kept our prices lower, to have lower margins. That way people will drive from miles away to shop here,” he said.

Davies said having a used car dealership in town that averages selling between 300 to 350 cars per year helps other businesses stay viable because it’s outsourcing mechanical work, glass and window repairs, new tires and even new paint jobs.

Davies told the Gazette that ABH’s upcoming birthday is a chance to thank the community for its support.