Gus Henderson, general manager, said the demolition at 3000 N. St. Mary’s St. began Dec. 3; he anticipates the dealership will open in April 2013.
The renovated facility will be almost 28,000 square feet and will feature a covered front-entry service drive. Customers can wait in a lounge with a flat-screen television and free wi-fi and watch through a glass viewing area as mechanics service their cars. There will also be a children’s area.
A centerpiece of the dealership will be a showroom capable of holding four or five cars, but the service center will occupy the majority of the space at 18,000 square feet.
“Our shop is going to be very large in comparison to most markets our size,” Henderson says.
A team of master certified mechanics will service all makes and models – not just the ones the dealership sells. The shop will carry factory parts for all Chrysler, Dodge, Jeep and Ram vehicles.
“Folks can be sure that they will now be able to have their vehicles serviced locally and on the same day they bring them in,” Henderson says.
The Beeville dealership also will be able to handle larger jobs. “We’re equipped to be able to service a lot of these vehicles that are specifically used in the oil field,” he adds, referring to work in the Eagle Ford Shale.
Maltby Builders of Kingsville will handle the demolition and renovations. Randy Maltby, founder, is working with Blake Fulenwider on the renovation of the service department of the Kingsville dealership. Maltby says he anticipates the Beeville construction will start around the first of the year.
“I know that Dodge is very popular,” Albert Vilches, development services director for Beeville, says. “From what I understand, most dealers can’t keep white pickups in stock, because the oil field is coming in and taking those away real fast.”
A native of Georgetown, Fulenwider graduated from the UT and is the president of Blake Fulenwider Dodge Chrysler Jeep. He has worked in the automotive industry for more than 16 years.
Henderson is a South Texas native who grew up in Live Oak County, just north of Mathis. He graduated from Mathis High School and Texas A&M University and began his automotive career in San Antonio. He most recently served as general manager and partner of Rod East Volkswagen, which has been sold. Henderson and his wife, Amy, will be relocating to Beeville with their son, Charles.