Shelton car dealership finds success with community involvement

The advances in technology combined with a fluctuating economy makes car-buying options a little more complex these days. But, the industry is changing with the times — which include slowing down on production of manual transmission and more technological features.

“All of the cars are made really well these days,” said Ed DeMarseilles, chief operating officer of Curtiss-Ryan Honda, and there has been a shift in what is being made and what is being purchased.

The dealership, located at 333 Bridgeport Ave. in Shelton. will mark its 41st year in business this April. DeMarseilles said when Curtiss-Ryan opened in 1973, it was the first established Honda dealership in the state.

Good customer service

DeMarseilles said the long-time success of the business is due to them being aware of what good customer service is.

Every third Wednesday of the month, there is a new owner’s clinic. This gives drivers a chance to go over in detail about their vehicle that could help them for years to go. The clinic “talks about pretty much anything and everything anyone wants to know about their car,” DeMarseilles said.

He said whether to finance new or pre-owned, or lease, is really up to what the customer needs. He said salespeople figure out what kind of vehicle the perspective new owner may want, then go over the financial options if necessary.

DeMarseilles said there are benefits to going any route: Leasing could get you a brand new car as early as three years, financing a new vehicle gives you a long relationship with your vehicle, and getting a pre-owned car could keep costs down.

Challenging economy

However, the economy and growing pressure to make ends meet have been difficult for some. Many have been purchasing pre-owned vehicles, and lately it’s been difficult for many dealers to get quality pre-owned vehicles.

DeMarseilles said that in order for a pre-owned vehicle to be certified, it must go through a rigorous inspection process, and then be registered with the parent company. Buyers can only get certified vehicles of the brand specifically at  the dealership.

Community involvement

“The more involved you are in the community, the more you create a network,” said DeMarseilles.

And involved they are at Curtiss-Ryan. The Honda dealership has helped out the local Boys & Girls Clubs, Spooner House, Valley United Way, TEAM Inc. and more.

“We do a lot of business in this community,” said DeMarseilles. “The more people you help, it comes back to you. Good things happen.”

“We’re fortunate that we have a franchise like Honda,” said DeMarseilles, because it’s a popular car people buy. So, it works out that the dealership has resources to help local nonprofit organizations. “It seems like the right thing to do, so we’re going to continue to do it as long as we can.”

Pinewood Derby for Boy Scouts

Most recently, Curtiss-Ryan hosted a Pinewood Derby for the Housatonic Boy Scouts. This is the third year they’ve hosted the event, where Scouts have built cars to race on a track.

For more information visit or call 203-929-1484.