ATHENS - Croft Ford, which is being purchased by local businessman Randy Williams, will be a much larger auto dealership when Williams moves it to the former Simmons-Rockwell car dealership site in Athens Township, an official of Williams Auto Group said.

When Croft Ford moves to its new site, it will be renamed Williams Ford Lincoln, said Kevin Horn, general manager of Williams Auto Group.

The move to the new site is expected to begin "very soon," Horn said.

The sales staff, along with Croft's inventory of vehicles, will be the first to move to the new site, he said.

However Croft's service, parts and body shop departments will remain at the Croft Ford site at 205 S. Main St. in Athens for eight to 12 months while a new service building is constructed at the former Simmons-Rockwell dealership site.

Horn said the service building will be attached to the existing showroom building at the Simmons-Rockwell site, and both the showroom and the new service building will be used by Williams Ford Lincoln.

Williams hopes to begin construction of the service building in August and complete it within eight to 10 months, Horn said.

Larry Croft confirmed on Thursday that he is in the process of selling Croft Ford to Williams.

The sales agreement for Croft Ford has been signed by both parties, Horn said.

"We're just waiting for Ford's approval" of the sale, he said. "We anticipate that taking two to three more weeks."

Horn said he anticipates that Ford will approve the sale.

"We've met with Ford," Horn said. "They seem happy with the deal. We see no interruption of this deal whatsoever."

Williams Ford Lincoln will sell all types of new Fords, including Lincolns, he said.

The dealership will also sell used cars, no matter what brand it is. "We'll sell every brand" of used car if it's "a good-quality vehicle," Horn said.

Croft Ford's employees will continue to work at Williams Ford Lincoln, Horn said.

"We anticipate employing everyone (at Croft Ford) who wants to be employed" at Williams Ford Lincoln, he said.

In addition to the existing Croft Ford employees, Williams plans on adding 17 to 18 new positions at Williams Ford Lincoln, bringing the total number of jobs at the site to 35, he said.

Williams Ford Lincoln plans to "ramp up" to the point where it will have 100 new vehicles on site, as well as 100 used vehicles.

"Bradford County is growing," Ford "ties in" with the needs of the gas industry in the area, and Williams Ford Lincoln plans on having extended service hours, Horn said, explaining why additional employees will be needed.

The additional employees will include automotive technicians, sales personnel, office personnel, body shop personnel and management, Horn said.

James Loewenstein can be reached at (570) 265-1633; or e-mail: jloewenstein@thedailyreview.com.