New kids on the block

BUSINESS CHANGEOVER: Danika and Ben Shepherd are now the proud new owners of Millicent's Mac Ford.

The new owners of Mac Ford brought plenty of industry experience with them as they officially took over the reins of the well established business last week

Ben and Danika Shepherd have both worked for the largest automotive group in the Southern hemisphere, Eagers Automotive, for many years.

At 21 Ben started his career selling used cars, at Eagers Automotive Rebel Ford in Elizabeth, quickly working his way up to a sales manager position.

In 2021 he was announced the national number one ranked sales manager in his category, winning the President’s award for Ford.

“A lot of hard work went into it and we built a really good culture at that dealership,” he said.

“We took it from a severely underperforming dealership to one with value, efficiency and high customer satisfaction.

“We had the best customer satisfaction in metropolitan South Australia and the Northern Territory.”

Bringing lots of new ideas to the business is Danika with her experience in service for BMW.

“Danika has a lot of new ideas about service and how we run service departments,” Ben said.

“We will be modernising a few things and will be a lot more mobile.

“We’ve invested in infrastructure in the dealership and are moving our sales team across to laptops.

“It gives us more flexibility, if you want to meet us after hours or can’t get to the dealership, we can get to you.”

Due to Mac Ford’s 34 years of history in the South East the Shepherds are retaining the business name.

“Angus and Julie have been really gracious, accommodating and really helped us get into our first dealership as owners,’ he said.

“We want to pay our respects by keeping the name the same, and the history that is so entrenched in the Millicent area.”

Mac Ford currently holds the franchise for Ford, Suzuki and Land Rover with plans to move Suzuki into the showroom alongside Land Rover.

The Jaguar licence has already been handed back with signage due to be removed soon.

The Shepherds are heavily involved in basketball with Danika a national league referee, and Ben refereeing state league games.

“We will have a lot to do with the local basketball community and referee development.”