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Ted Britt Ford's Ties to Community Run Deep

Fairfax City car dealership is headed up by M. Gardner Britt Jr., son of founder; Ted Britt Ford first opened in Northern Virginia about 50 years ago.

Walking into the Ted Britt Ford dealership these days is like entering a Christmas workshop — all the cars are painted white, adorned with huge red bows as if shipped directly from the North Pole by Santa himself.

Of course, the vehicles haven’t been made by Kris Kringle, but by the Ford Motor Company which is still headquartered in Dearborn, Mich., a suburb of Detroit. But the practice of dressing white cars with red ribbons during the holidays is a longtime tradition that is being carried out by a third generation of the Britt family that runs the dealership.

“It’s just something that we’ve always done, to put red ribbons on the cars at Christmas,” said M. Gardner Britt III (or just “G3”) head of the Chantilly location, in interview last week with Patch.

“Family and holidays are really big with us,” he said.

A couple things to know about the dealership and the Britt family:

  • The name “Ted” Britt was a nickname, despite years of radio and television advertising that promoted the name. The man behind the name was M. Gardner Britt, born in Junction, Texas (about 100 miles west of San Antonio) who moved to Fairfax and opened his first dealership, “Texas” Ted Britt Ford, in Fairfax in 1959. “Ted” Britt died in 1996.
  • The Ted Britt dealerships (there are locations in Chantilly, Fairfax and Sterling) are a family operation. M. Gardner Britt, Jr., Ted’s son, still runs the Fairfax operation with grandson Britt III in Chantilly and many family members spread though all levels. Overall, the dealerships employ about 400.
  • Britt, Jr., did not push any of his seven sons into the car business.

“My dad didn’t want us to go into the family business,” Britt III said. “He told us to go out and find something else to do. We could always fall back into the car business if we had to.”

Britt III, 34, the oldest, complied and got a degree in advertising and communications from the University of Alabama in Tuscaloosa, Ala. Selling cars as a career wasn’t a priority, but he was drawn back to the business because he liked working around his dad and the rest of the family.

“I’ve never been a big car guy,” Britt III said. “I don’t have a fancy car to drive home. I just drive whatever the shop puts gas into at the end of the day.”

Gregarious and blessed with a sunny disposition, Britt III seems to be a natural-born salesman. “In any kind of sales, at the end of the day you are really just selling yourself," he said. "And, I’m a big process person. You set up goals and get things done.”

Britt III’s approach seems to be working. Last month the dealership sold the second-most number of cars of any Ford dealer in the nation, about 400. They are looking to match that pace this month, with an anticipated crush of sales after Christmas.

“We are a people business,” Britt III said. “We have the best customers and vehicles that people really like. We know that people can buy cars anywhere, but we stress our customer services and that we will make deals that nobody else in the business will make.”

You can keep up with Ted Britt Ford Lincoln Fairfax on their Facebook page.

Recommend a local business for a Patch profile: whitney@patch.com

craig martin May 10, 2013 at 07:31 AM
THIS DEALER TREATS VETERANS LIKE TRASH!! I had my ford F150 in for service in DEC 2012 this dealer scratched my wheels!! The service director Rob Teasdale called me a liar!!! When I spoke to the owner G3 He made it right so I decided to give them a second chance this past month but because I was called a LIAR before I decided to protect myself by taking pictures of my vehicle including my odometer mileage! The mileage in my picture matched the service writer’s mileage that he observed and logged in their system! My vehicle was in to have the front rotors changed and my seat frames replaced in my opinion and in the opinion of many service writers and managers 10 miles is a reasonable amount of miles to put on a customer vehicle when test driving before and after the work is done. My truck was driven 84 miles! WHY? I don’t know!! I brought it to their attention and showed them my pictures and they acknowledged that 84 miles were put on my vehicle but they have no idea how? They say their security cameras never saw my truck leave! and then they tried to blame after hours cleaning services saying they are Spanish and you never can tell what they would do(Rob Teasdale Said that)! Fact is they have no answers as to why my vehicle was driven excessively, how it was driven for those 84 miles, or even an apology! NOT TO MENTION I AM AN HONORABLY DISCHARGED U.S MARINE VETERAN AND MY TRUCK HAS MY VFW TAGS AND THEY STILL DID THIS TO ME! AND THE OWNERS BROTHER IS IN THE NAVY WOW

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