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Garcia Automotive Group will be the only dealership selling the Smart starting Jan. 8, 2008. The company bought a shopping center next to Garcia Infiniti at 1234 Renaissance Blvd. NE and is converting it into showroom. Enterprise Builders is doing the build-out. It will be one of 74 Smart dealers opening next year. Garcia Automotive Group will be the only dealership selling the Smart starting Jan. 8, 2008. The company bought a shopping center next to Garcia Infiniti at 1234 Renaissance Blvd. NE and is converting it into showroom. Enterprise Builders is doing the build-out. It will be one of 74 Smart dealers opening next year.

Garcia Automotive Group will be the only dealership selling the Smart starting Jan. 8, 2008. The company bought a shopping center next to Garcia Infiniti at 1234 Renaissance Blvd. NE and is converting it into showroom.

Enterprise Builders is doing the build-out. It will be one of 74 Smart dealers opening next year.

Friday, December 7, 2007

Get Smart: Garcia Automotive to sell snazzy, teeny European car.

New Mexico Business Weekly - by Megan Kamerick NMBW Staff

Carlos Garcia will manage new dealership.

Richard Lampert first tried to buy a Smart Car while shopping on a swanky street in Rome.

Wedged between the Prada and Armani boutiques, he and his wife found a store selling Smarts. But, to their chagrin, when they tried to buy one, the manager explained it wasn't possible.

"He said 'We ship it, you drive it 2,000 or 3,000 miles, the car dies, there's no one to work on it, you put the car in your backyard and stick flowers in it,'" said Lampert, who owns Zaplin Lampert Gallery in Santa Fe.

His wait will soon be over. The Garcia Automotive Group will open the state's first, and only, dealership selling Smart Cars on Jan. 8. It will be one of 74 Smart dealers across the country opening next year. The company bought a shopping center next to Garcia Infiniti at 1234 Renaissance Blvd. NE, which it is converting into a 10,000-square-foot showroom designed by Van H. Gilbert Architects. Enterprise Builders is doing the build-out.

Source: New Mexico Business Weekly

Friday, December 7, 2007

Get Smart: Garcia Automotive to sell snazzy, teeny European car.

"For some, gas mileage is the main reason, for some it's price, for some it's strictly the fact that the car is cool and they want it," said Kettenbeil. "It's not defined by age or income, but rather attitude and lifestyle."

Garcia said the Smart is a "no brainer" for New Mexico because of the educated community, the thriving arts scene and the number of people who are concerned about the environment. The factory in France, where the car is made, is built from recycled materials and the car is made almost entirely from recyclables.

The Garcia Automotive Group has ownership or partnerships in 12 dealerships in Albuquerque and Santa Fe. But the Smart Car dealership, and a new dealership selling Vespa scooters that Garcia bought from PJ's Triumph Ducati that will be next to the Smart showroom, will allow the company to broaden its customer base, Garcia said.

"Customers will be able to buy everything from a $1,500 scooter to a $70,000 Infiniti," he said. "We feel Smart is the biggest thing to hit the country [automotive-wise] since World War II."

After the announcement by the Penske Automotive Group in 2006 that it would distribute the Smart Car, about 1,400 dealers inquired about selling it, Kettenbeil said, and 300 submitted full applications. From that, Penske chose 74 stores. Kettenbeil said a key criteria for selecting dealerships was their commitment to customer service.

Lampert does not plan to replace his Lexus with his new Smart, but he said it will be handy for zipping around Santa Fe.

"It helps us continue to relive our Italian experience," he said.

Source: New Mexico Business Weekly

 
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