Dealership gives car to long-distance walking commuter

By: Eric Czarnik | C&G Newspapers | Published February 16, 2015

 From left to right: David Fischer, Jr., Blake Pollock, Evan Leedy, James Robertson

From left to right: David Fischer, Jr., Blake Pollock, Evan Leedy, James Robertson

Photo provided by Suburban Collection

A Detroit man’s hours-long walking work commute is over now that he can put his foot on the accelerator of a new Ford Taurus, courtesy of Suburban Ford of Sterling Heights.

James Robertson, who regularly walked more than 20 miles when he ventured out to his Rochester Hills employer and back to his Detroit home because he owned no car, recently shared his story to local media.

After the news broke, a GoFundMe.com campaign began to raise money to help Robertson out so he could end his long walks to work. The campaign went viral and ended up raising about $350,000.

But before Robertson, 56, could spend any raised funds on a car, Suburban Ford of Sterling Heights agreed to give him a free 2015 Ford Taurus SEL. The dealership gave Robertson the Taurus Feb. 6 as it celebrated the occasion with him.

According to the Suburban Collection, the ruby red Taurus is fully loaded with a 3.5-liter V6 engine, leather seats, heated front seats, a power moon roof and more.

Jim Elder Jr., general sales manager at Suburban Ford of Sterling Heights, said it was exciting to know that Robertson has a new car to drive to work.

“He was so overwhelmed,” Elder said.

David Fischer Jr., general manager of the Suburban Collection, said he thought the story was amazing when he heard about it.

Fischer said he talked to some of his auto contacts about the idea of giving a car to Robertson. After hearing that Robertson would prefer a domestic vehicle, the Suburban Collection moved to get him a Ford Taurus.

Fischer said the vehicle cost about $35,000 altogether, and he said the tax issue has been taken care of so that Robertson would not have to pay tax on the vehicle.

“We wanted to give him the exact car that he wanted,” Fischer said.

Fischer said the Suburban Collection’s employees supported the idea, adding that he heard from some people that they thought they had a long commute until they heard Robertson’s story.

“The reason that this story went viral and got everyone’s attention was, in sharing that story, it makes each and every one of us be appreciative for everything that we have,” Fischer said.

Learn more about Suburban Ford of Sterling Heights by visiting www.suburbanfordofsterling heights.com or by calling (586) 268-7500. Learn more about the Suburban Collection by visiting www.suburban collection.com or by calling (877) 471-7100.