Wednesday, January 1, 2014/lk
GRAND COULEE A 26-year-old dealership will soon be under the ownership of a man who recently brought his pre-owned vehicle business back to Omak.
Fuller and Sons Auto Sales, 122 Midway Ave., was purchased by Choice Auto Group in mid-December, according to Choice co-owner and General Manager Nick Martin.
“We thought it would be a great opportunity,” he said. “We like doing business in small communities and we just thought it would be a great fit.
“It’s not too far away, but far enough to where it makes sense to do another location.”
This is Choice’s first effort to expand since owner Mike Kaiser brought the dealership back to Omak in October after a four-year absence.
“It’s actually just going to add to our ability to have more selection for everybody, because we can transfer vehicles back and forth between the two lots,” Martin said.
Martin will also serve as general manager of the Grand Coulee location, but will work primarily in Omak.
Despite the new name and new owners, customers will still see familiar faces at the dealership – sales manager Heidi Black is remaining on staff, and Fuller and Sons owner Keith Fuller will work for Choice on a part-time basis.
“He will still go to auction to buy vehicles. He will still be there to assist his customers,” Martin said.
The Chronicle left a message for Fuller, but he didn’t return the call before press time.
The Grand Coulee dealership will expand its inventory from around 20 vehicles currently to about 40. The Omak location, 625 Okoma Drive, has about 90 vehicles in stock.
“We take over officially Jan. 2,” Martin said. “We won’t be open for business right away. It’s going to be a few days after that.”
Choice is in the final stages of receiving its dealer’s license from the state for the Grand Coulee location. Some light remodeling is under way, from flooring and signs to painting.
Fuller and Sons is one of two dealerships in Grand Coulee. The other is Jess Ford, 522 Midway Ave.
Meanwhile, the Omak dealership has hired more staff to keep up with demand – salesman Jason Barnett and office staff Lori Covington and Julie Ann, Martin said. The flagship store started with seven employees.
“Thanks to all our customers for helping us be able to get everything moving so quickly, and all the support from the community,” he said.
Kaiser ran then-named Choice Auto and Truck for about eight years before selling to Consumer Auto Liquidators and moving to Arizona, taking the company name with him to sell muscle cars.
Martin worked for Choice Auto for about four years before Kaiser sold it. By that time he had worked his way up to sales manager. Consumer Auto hired Martin as general sales manager, and he stayed for about one year before moving down the road to Sunrise Chevrolet, 726 Okoma Drive.