VW dealership dates to 1955

I vaguely remember a Volkswagen dealership on Biddle Road years ago. I don't think it belonged to Lithia then, but is there anyone at the Mail Tribune who can enlighten a curious reader?

— Eldon W., Phoenix

You are thinking of the Volkswagen dealership operated by Woody Morse at 730 Biddle Road. Morse Motors opened in 1955, and the 20,950-square-foot showroom was opened in 1966. It was the first dealership built east of Bear Creek.

Years later, three other new auto dealerships moved farther north on Biddle Road near the airport, and since then there has been a migration of stores out Crater Lake Highway.

Morse was situated in the building recently vacated by the United States Postal Service, which used it as a service center until moving those operations near Sage Road in the past couple of years.

It's now vacant.

After nearly two decades of running the VW dealership, Morse sold to Dwayne Gleaves in 1973. In the mid-1980s, Bob Yoshida acquired the franchise and combined it with Jay Allen BMW.

In the late 1980s, the VW dealership was obtained by John Skinner, who combined it with his Cadillac Buick dealership on South Pacific Highway.

After more than 50 years and four franchise owners, Lithia Motors acquired Volkswagen rights in Medford and moved operations to Central Avenue, the current site of Lithia Honda.

Send questions to "Since You Asked," Mail Tribune Newsroom, P.O. Box 1108, Medford, OR 97501; by fax to 541-776-4376; or by email to youasked@mailtribune.com.


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