Suzuki dealer to close after 45 years, cites lack of online presence

Publish Date: 
Dec 27, 2012

PARIS, Tenn. – The lights will go down for the last time Dec. 28 at Suzuki of Paris, and the store’s co-owner said not building a website contributed to its demise.

After nearly 45 years in business, the store was the oldest dealership in both Tennessee and Kentucky, and one of the 50 oldest in the nation, said co-owner Chris Grissom, who bought the business with wife Vikki in 1980. Grissom worked first as a mechanic, then as a manager before buying the business.

“We’ve hung on and hung on until we can’t hold on any longer,” he told the Paris Post-Intelligencer. Grissom said he didn’t have the energy to set up a website and process orders, even though “If you’re going to count on people to walk into your store, you just can’t make it.”

He said they’d tried branching out into other products, even selling trampolines one year, but it never really caught on.

Grissom will continue his specialty race business in a scaled-down version in a shop at his home, and plans to continue teaching classes at the Tennessee Technology Center, where he is the motorcycle/ATV repair instructor.

The store was opened in June 1968 by Harry Clingman.

Posted by Holly Wagner