Mazda dealership to close

Reported by KPLC Staff:

A sign of the times. People aren't buying as many cars and yet another car dealership will close its doors. This time it's the local Mazda dealer turning out the lights.

It was 1955 and an exciting time for the Radford family as they opened a new car dealership, featuring the latest model-- touted as the first in Louisiana. And while the family business has lasted half a century, they aren't selling cars like they used to and Beau Radford has decided it's time to close.

Beau was swamped with tying up loose ends but customer Karen Miller had time to reflect. "I was really saddened because for years they've been here and they've given me wonderful service. I purchased my first Mazda in Houston and they gave me wonderful service even though I didn't purchase the car here and then I went on to purchase three more. And I'm really sorry to see them close because to me, this is one of the oldest dealerships that we have existing now and I'm really not looking forward to having to go out of town for service."

Though the dealership will close, Radford Ready Credit will remain open. Dave Morton says they'll continue to sell cars to those with credit problems. "Basically we do help people when they have financial problems as far as financing vehicles and we're going to stay open, business as normal, no changes, everything as it was before."

And the employees plan to take over the body shop and try to make a go of it. Some employees find themselves in need of a new job but Dave believes it will all work out. "I've been here over fifteen years so it's going to be a lot of friends, lot of family aren't going to be around anymore to see. So, I'm not happy about that. But that's just the way business is nowadays."

The Buick part of the business was previously sold to Jack Hebert in Sulphur, so at least for a while there won't be a Mazda dealership in Lake Charles. The dealership plans to close April 30th. Those who need service on their Mazda vehicles will need to go to Lafayette or Beaumont until, if and when, a new Mazda dealer opens here.