Lake Montcalm Auto, Boat & Collision Center purchases former Ford dealership

Bob Gilman, at left, shakes hands with Bill Sain as they announce their plans to open Mid-Montcalm Auto, Boat Collision Center at the former Ford dealership in Stanton, which closed in 2010. Gilman and Sain own Lake Montcalm Auto, Boat Collision Center in Six Lakes and are opening a second location to meet a demand for service. — Courtesy photo

STANTON — This city’s former Ford dealership parking lot has started filling up with boats.

A white trailer with “Lake Montcalm Auto, Boat Body Shop” written across the side sits in the parking lot of 848 N. State St. The new additions are just the beginning of what will be Mid-Montcalm Auto, Boat Collision Center.

“It’s been four months we’ve been working on this project to make sure it’s what we need and to make sure mentally, physically and financially, it was all going to work,” Bob Gilman said.

On June 15, Gilman posted a picture on Facebook shaking hands with Bill Sain at the former Ford dealership, which received hundreds of “likes.”

“We’ve been here eight years and we’re always swamped,” Gilman said. “We wanted to go to the next level, which is getting a second location and getting more into sales.”

Even before the announcement, Gilman and Sain were answering phone calls asking if they were coming to Stanton.

“What was happening is our vehicles were down there and labeled, so people were starting to talk,” Sain said.

Gilman and Sain had been brainstorming about a second location for a while and debated building a new facility on M-46. Sain thought of the old Ford dealership, which closed in 2010. The building was large enough to meet their needs, and it was highly visible on M-66 just north of Stanton.

“It’s a great location. You can’t beat it,” Sain said. “It’s right in the middle of Six Lakes, Edmore, Lakeview and Stanton.”

Gilman thinks that portion of M-66 sees traffic of nearly 8,000 cars per day. He joked that at their Lake Montcalm Road location, most of the traffic is horses and buggies.

Lake Montcalm Auto, Boat Collision Center — and the new location — is a one-stop shop offering body work, collision work, full-service maintenance, boat sales, used car sales, tow truck service, detail work and boat repairs. The only service not offered at the new location is boat storage, which the Lake Montcalm location will continue to provide.

Gilman and Sain say their business is family oriented. Whether it’s a car they repaired or a used car for sale, they won’t hand over the keys unless they would feel comfortable having their children behind the wheel. Even though their business is growing, Gilman and Sain want to keep the company down to earth.

“We’re driven by family,” Gillman said. “We want to keep those morals and standards going.”

The grand opening hasn’t been set yet and Gilman and Sain are still fine-tuning details. They hope to have a sales department in the building by July and have the center fully operational by 2018.

Gilman and Sain said customers can expect more announcements in the near future.

The new location is hiring now for the positions of experienced service writer, boat technician, body technician, paint technician, lube technician, mechanic, secretary and sales. Resumes may be emailed to or dropped off at the Six Lakes location at 4511 Lake Montcalm Road NW. Call (989) 365-3015 for more information.

Mid-Michigan Auto, Boat Collision Center

Location: 848 N. State St. (M-66) in Stanton

Hours: Not open yet.

Phone number: (989) 365-3015 (Six Lakes location)


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