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Zamora family takes over Prescott Honda


Les Stukenberg/The Daily Courier
Former Prescott Honda owners, at left, Don Biele and Gary Young pass the key to the new owners Chris and Bob Zamora Thursday at the dealership’s new location at 3291 Willow Creek Road in Prescott.

Bob and Chris Zamora just bought their second new car dealership in Prescott over the past three months.

On the heels of their December acquisition of York Motors, Bob and his son Chris closed escrow on their Prescott Honda dealership Thursday.

"I'm excited," Chris said. "To be able to (own dealerships) here in a nice community is a dream come true."

This week, the Honda dealership moved from its long-time home on Iron Springs Road to its new home at 3291 Willow Creek Road in north Prescott.

"We think this dealership has the capacity to sell about 100 new and used cars a month in this economy," Chris said.

More than 40 employees also made the move to the dealership's new site, where Zamora said he's looking to bolster the inventory with 400 additional new cars.

Another focus for Zamora is gaining and retaining customers.

He said car owners have stuck with their older cars through the economic downturn and he wants to show them that a new automobile might be an affordable alternative to mounting repair bills, especially with low interest rates.

"We want to keep the customer as loyal as we can for as long as we can," he said.

Former Prescott Honda owners Don Biele, Gary Young and Steve Schott announced plans to sell their dealership in mid-February.

The partners met Chris when they were part of a regional group of dealers that got together to chat about increasing business. They began talking informally when Zamora said he wanted to get into the Prescott auto market.

Biele was on hand Thursday morning in an office at the new dealership that was five years in the making, explaining that the finality of the sale is a "bittersweet" time for him.

It was getting down to the wire for Biele and his partners, who closed on the deal with Zamora two days before the lease on the former location expired.

Biele thanked the City of Prescott for its help with making the new dealership a reality, and for a traffic signal that makes it easier for people to get in and out of the new lot.

He emphasized the value of the dealership to the city, which gets 2 percent of the car sales.

"This is good for everybody," Biele said. "We know that they have the skills to take it to the next level."

Chris' familiarity with Honda also goes back to the five years he spent working as a district sales manager for Honda North America.

The deal gives Bob and Chris three Honda dealerships in Arizona, with the other two in Mesa and Yuma. Other dealerships including three Honda, three Toyota, two Volkswagen, one Acura and one Kia dealership in California and Nevada.

"Long-term we'd like to grow in northern Arizona; short-term we've got to grow it before we can spend it," he said.

Bob Zamora said they are not in discussions with any other dealerships in Prescott.





 

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