Smiley Automotive opened its second Norwalk location Monday.
Officials at the 383 Milan Ave. business said they have been thriving at what is now their north location, so they decided to expand in order to reach the other side of the city.
The south location opened 285 Benedict Ave., the former Shoemaker Auto Sales and A1 Auto Sales near Burger King and across from Norwalk Memorial Home and Fisher-Titus Medical Center.
After remodeling the interior and exterior of the building on the property, as well as fixing the parking lot, the dealership has a new site to offer a larger variety of vehicles to the community.
“The new location is holding between 30 and 35 cars,” said general manager Jim Neuberger. “At (the north location) we average about 50 to 52 cars a month. We feel we can do at least 20 at (the south) site.”
Neuberger said they plan to tap into untouched potential and gain “more visibility.”
“You think of all the people going that way that don’t come to this part of town,” he said. “Not that this side of town is bad, but not all of them come down to this part of town. This gives them a location as so many people come into town from the south, go to work or go home.”
The new addition will add a least three new jobs and give the dealership’s inventory more than 100 vehicles of various makes, including Ford, Dodge, Chevy, Toyato and Nissan, Neuberger said.
“We stock just about anything you can,” he said. “It’s hard to stock every car possible, but this way if someone wants a white (car) and maybe we have it in red at that location, we can say we probably have it at the other and can drive it up from there.”
The Milan Avenue location also is looking into a 70-by-100 foot building as another maintenance shop in the back of the current budding.
“This will be for the dealership only,” he said. “Our service department is so busy, working for the public, it’s hard to get our vehicles done in a timely manner.”
Neuberger said both additions will benefit the community.
“We’re on that side of town, adding another 20 cars we’re selling a month with that money and the taxes staying in the community,” he said.
“If they don’t like something they see there, there’s a good chance they have it here in the other location. And you’ve created more jobs, more tax revenue coming to the city. Plus the old building, it used to be an eyesore. Now it looks like us. It’s very, very professional.”
Anyone interested in seeing the newly renovated building or increased inventory are welcome to visit and ask for a tour of the building. Call 419-663-2277 for more information.