BUSINESS

Martens car dealership sold, Ourisman takes over

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(WJLA) - For decades, this car dealership in D.C. was a well-known name: Martens. It was run by the Stuart and Martens families, who got their start selling cars when Henry Ford asked them to sell his horseless carriages back in 1916.

"It's been in our neighborhood for 35 years and it's like an old friend," says D.C. resident Don Huber. "We'd walk to the movies and look at cars on the way. And actually we did that one night and the next day I came back and bought one."

But after a century in business, the dealerships have been sold. Euromotors has taken over Volvo and now Volkswagens will be sold by another family with a long history of car sales in Washington area history: the Ourismans.

“I think we've done a very good job of that as is evidenced from, you know, we started in 1921," says Chris Ourisman. "Here we are in 2014, I'm a fourth generation Ourisman. I've got an incredible amount of pride for my family's history and for what they've been a part of in the Washington D.C. area.

Martens is selling the land the dealerships sit on, but according to Ourisman, while they will have to move, they won't be going far -- just down the road to Bethesda.

Still, it means that the District is losing its last new car dealer in the District.

After buying three cars here, Don Huber says he’s glad his dealer won’t be going far – and while he feels like he’s losing a neighborhood friend, he hopes he’s gaining a new one:

“I think Ourisman has got a good name. They've got a bigger dealership obviously, but I think they'll certainly be attuned that this is a neighborhood dealership."

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