Joseph Ruge opened a one-pump Sunoco fueling station and limited repair facility across from a pillar of the Rhinebeck community, the Beekman Arms. Little did he know that his business would one day become a pillar of the community as well. Ruge's then quickly became an authorized Oldsmobile dealer. Joseph's brother Herman, who sold cars in the Bronx, helped ship vehicles by railway to Joseph. As they arrived at the Rhinecliff Train Station, Joseph unloaded them by himself to sell at his dealership. The business was successful.
This early success empowered Joseph to move to a 3-bay garage at 6444 Montgomery Street, just ¼ mile from its original location, but "much too far out of town," according to locals. His son, Lewis Ruge, who still works tirelessly at that location (you can usually spot him in cargo shorts, no matter what the temperature outside), was born later that year.
An Oldsmobile showroom was added; the brand would be a mainstay in American driveways, with some families owning more than one at a time, for the better part of the next fifty years.
Sales, the Ford service center, and the Ford parts and accessories store all gained momentum during this entire decade as Ruge's solidified its reputation for exceptional customer service. Big brand sophistication, small-town values: hallmarks of the Ruge's business, then and now.
After completing college and serving for 3 years as an Officer in the United States Air Force, Lewis brought his skillset back to his hometown, joining his Dad as an official partner in the business.
Lewis envisioned a potential market for a smaller economy car. He took action on that instinct, and built one of the country’s very first Subaru dealers. Shortly thereafter, a historic gas shortage for Americans ensued.
Ruge's opened its Chrysler Plymouth Dodge location in the town of Red Hook.
Ruge's opened a wholesale auto parts and accessories store in Red Hook, employing more locals and adding to its position as an industry leader in the Hudson River Valley.
As the demand for Subaru vehicles grew exponentially, Ruge's helped beautify the village of Rhinebeck by building a brand-new showroom across the street from its original Oldsmobile location.
The business expanded with the purchase of Audia Motor Sales, now known as Ruge's Chevrolet, in Millbrook, NY.
Ruge's purchased Rhinebeck Ford, just down the road from Ruge's CDJ. Ruge's Ford became the fourth rooftop in the family of dealerships!
Operated in part by third-generation owner Kristin Ruge Hutchins, with over 100 employees in its 4 locations, Ruge's Automotive has something for everyone: a healthy, positive workplace that fosters ongoing professional and personal development for employees; an easy-to-navigate, transparent sales and service experience for customers; beautiful, modern facilities, and an unwavering willingness to support the needs of neighbors and nonprofits in the community.
Through it all, Ruge’s weathers the storms and lights the way: from the gas shortage in the 20th century to the recession in the new millennium - from the termination of the Oldsmobile Brand to troubled times for Chrysler and General Motors. Evolving the business model as times change, focusing on core competencies, attracting and retaining the right team, and remaining steadfastly devoted to customer-focused values, Ruge's Automotive is, indeed, a pillar of the community. No doubt going way beyond what the young Joseph Ruge ever imagined. We are Ruge's Automotive. And we're just getting started.
Whether you're in the market for a new Ford vehicle, a deal on one of our used cars for sale, or you need maintenance done on your vehicle, we're always ready and waiting to help you get what you need. We live by the golden rule at Ruge's Ford and we treat everyone who visits us exactly how we would want to be treated. We make each transaction with us easy and transparent, from sales to navigating auto financing deals, and we make caring for your vehicle for the long haul easier as well, with expert service and Ford parts centers. So contact us today to get started. We look forward to meeting you!
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