An independent auto dealer has won a $165,000 judgment against Ford Credit in connection with a Federal Court suit in Columbia, SC.

Dealer Maron Isom, who owns United Auto Sales in the South Carolina capital, was awarded the sum after the court decided the Ford Motor Co. captive lender misrepresented the terms of his bid for a closed Ford dealership in Cheraw, SC.

Isom charged that Ford Credit had promised him ownership of the store if he paid off a $165,000 debt incurred by its former owner, Wendell Holman.

But, according to the plaintiff, Ford Credit told him the money enabled him to take over management of the franchise of the defunct store, but not become its owner.

Isom also asked for punitive damages. A jury denied those on the grounds he bore some fault for the breakdown in negotiations.

Holman had been in default on his debt to Ford Credit since early 2001. Ford Credit says it is considering an appeal.