In December of 2008, Turlock Auto Plaza, located at 1600 Auto Mall Drive, closed their doors to the public, due to economic hardship. In June of this year, however, Turlock Jeep Chrysler Dodge Ram reopened the doors of the vacant dealership location.
Centerra Capital, an investment and asset/property management firm from Modesto, purchased the old Turlock Auto Plaza property at the beginning of 2011. The property was previously foreclosed on. CEO/Founder of Centerra Capital, Paul B. Draper, has over 25 years of management experience with small and mid-size companies, including other auto malls in California.
At the time or the article announcing the property purchase, Centerra Capital was not sure what the property located in the Turlock Auto Mall would ultimately be used for although automotive uses were being looked at.
“Because of the flexibility of the location and layout of the property, we believe there are a wide variety of potential uses for the space,” said Draper. “We are in discussions with multiple parties at this point to explore alternative uses, including automotive.”
Within a year and a half, Inder Dosanjh announced that he would open an automotive dealership at the old Turlock Auto Plaza location. Dosanjh owns several dealerships in the Bay Area as well.
Although the official opening date for Turlock Chrysler Jeep Dodge Ram was on July 1st, General Sales Manager Nelson Vasquez shared that the auto dealership will be holding a Grand Opening in mid September.
“The community has come out and supported us, and we’re definitely moving forward,” stated Vasquez. “And the service has been very good as many staff members, both in service and sales, are people that had worked here previously.”
Although previous employees for former Turlock Auto Plaza were relocated to various locations when the auto dealership closed in 2008, Nelson reported that under the new ownership nearly 85% of the staff is returning members who had previously worked at Turlock Auto Plaza.
“They’re local community members and have worked here before,” stated Vasquez. “We were able to put a team of people together that had worked here before and also other local people that are here in the community also.”
Smith Chevrolet Cadillac co-owner Lee Smith also believes the new neighboring dealership benefits the community, along with his business.
“We’re always thrilled to have more competition here in the Turlock Auto Mall because more dealerships bring in more people,” stated Smith.
“When you buy local and you shop local, the money stays local… And now there’s more opportunity for the consumer so everybody wins,” said Smith. “The businesses win, the consumers win, and the City of Turlock wins.”
While speaking about the Turlock economy, City Manager Roy Wasden also referenced the new auto dealership as being a contributor to the community.
“[These] investments like Olive Garden, Ulta Cosmetics, Old Navy, and the new Turlock Chrysler Jeep Dodge Ram dealership are all good for our economic growth and for the Turlock Community.”