Longest-running African-American Riverside Ford dealership to shut
Dealership on Detroit's east side owned since '84
March 3, 2003
BY JEFFREY MCCRACKEN
DETROIT FREE PRESS BUSINESS WRITER
Nathan Conyers, brother of U.S. Rep. John Conyers, D-Mich., and the longest-running African-American Ford dealer in the country, is closing his Riverside Ford dealership after 33 years as a Ford dealer in the city.
Nathan Conyers and his brother bought their first Ford dealership on West Grand Boulevard in 1970, then closed Conyers Ford and consolidated business on East Jefferson when they bought Riverside Ford in 1984.
Conyers told his employees of the decision Friday morning. His dealership employed about 85 people and had annual sales around $50 million, according to Crain's Detroit Business.
Conyers said he has talked with several potential purchasers, but he hasn't found any takers yet. Conyers' written statement called it a "difficult decision" to close and cited "business reasons.".
Riverside Ford was listed regularly in Black Enterprise magazine's top 100 black-owned businesses. Five relatives were among the employees.
Nathan Conyers was a longtime ally of Detroit Mayor Coleman Young, though he did support his brother's 1989 mayoral ambitions. Young appointed Nathan Conyers to the board of police commissioners, a civilian panel of review.
Before he became a car dealer, Conyers was an attorney with Damon Keith, now a federal court judge.
Conyers owns a Jaguar dealership in Novi. It opened in May and was just the third Jaguar dealership in Michigan.
Jaguar of Novi has become one of the most successful Jaguar dealerships in the country. Ford Motor Co. owns the brand and it's part of the automaker's Premier Automotive Group with Volvo, Land Rover and Aston Martin.
Ford Division President Steve Lyons issued a statement praising Conyers for "his longstanding commitment to Ford and the city of Detroit. We recognize the decision to close his dealership has been a very difficult one for Nathan and his family."
My first car was a 67 Mustang Coupe, 2nd one was a 67 Cougar XR-7, 3rd one was a 66 Mustang Coupe. Why did I get rid of these cars for ? I know why, because I'm stupid, stupid, stupid.
My next Ford.....