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Irma Elder: A Pioneer, Mother, and Businesswoman

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Presented by Elder Ford of Tampa – Irma Elder was born in Xicoténcatl, Mexico, a small municipality located in the Mexican state of Tamaulipas. From here, she migrated into the United States in 1946 when she was 16-years-old without being able to speak the language of her new home. Still, this didn’t deter her from becoming a pioneer in the automotive industry.

Irma Elder

After migrating, she married James Elder in 1963. Her new husband took over a Ford dealership in 1967, which would be her first glimpse into the automotive industry. Sadly, James passed away in 1983. This left the dealership in the hands of Irma. Thankfully, she had been learning all about the automotive industry and the dealership over the course of around 20 years. And, she also had the tenacity needed to take charge and become the first woman to own a Ford dealership in the Detroit area.

Irma then changed the name of the dealership to Elder Ford, a name that has become a powerful one in both Michigan and Florida (Elder Ford of Tampa pictured above). She took the dealership and grew it into an empire that sells cars from makes including Ford, Jaguar, Land Rover, Genesis and more.

In 2014, Irma passed away but not without being recognized by prominent figures like Mary Barra, GM CEO, and Bill Ford, Ford Execurtiy Chairman. What she left behind is not just a dealership, but a family-owned and operated business that has stood the test of time. Her family, to this day, run Elder Automotive Group and continue the philanthropic pursuits she made a priority in her life.


Presented by Elder Ford of Tampa

At Elder Ford of Tampa, we’re eager to provide the winning Ford sales, auto service, and car financing in Tampa you seek. We’re proud of our Ford dealership near St. Petersburg, FL, where a state-of-the-art facility, comprehensive new Ford showroom and fully loaded service bay await, while a savvy team of Ford professionals is prepared to meet your every need. We’re not just interested in serving you right here and now, we want to be your dealership for life!