Colorado Springs News, Sports & Business

Gazette Premium Content Phil Long will reopen, renovate dealerships

WAYNE HEILMAN Updated: March 21, 2013 at 12:00 am

Phil Long Dealerships plans to reopen its former Academy Ford location near The Citadel mall in June as its third ValuCar used vehicle sales outlet and add a Quick Lane Tire & Auto Center franchise from Ford Motor Co. as part of a $6.5 million to open the ValuCar location and remodel four other dealerships.

Mike Cimino, vice president of Phil Long Dealerships, said the company plans to begin renovations soon on the 32,000-square-foot complex at 175 N. Academy Blvd. that has been vacant since South Colorado Springs Nissan moved to a new location at 1333 S. Academy Blvd. in late 2008. It replaced Academy Ford, which operated at the location from 1970 to 1999 before moving to the Chapel Hills Mall area and becoming Phil Long Ford at Chapel Hills.

The company plans to hire between 30 and 40 people to staff the complex before it opens, now scheduled for June 1, and could add additional sales and service personnel during the next several months based on sales growth, Cimino said.

“We are trying to meet the (growing) demand in the market. We think that there will be continued growth in auto sales during the next several years. We are expecting consistent growth,” Cimino said. New vehicle registrations  increased by double-digit levels in 2011 and 2012, according to the El Paso County Clerk & Recorders Office.

Phil Long Dealerships operates ValuCar locations in the Motor City, Chapel Hills Mall and Denver areas and operates Quick Lane franchises at its two Colorado Springs Ford dealerships in the Motor City and Chapel Hills Mall areas. Quick Lane sells tires, batteries and vehicle parts as well as oil changes, alignments and other routine maintenance services and repairs ranging from brakes to transmissions. Quick Lane has more than 600 locations nationwide, including about a dozen others along the Front Range.

The dealership group is in the middle of renovating its Lincoln dealership in Motor City and plans to begin remodeling its Hyundai dealership in Motor City in May, its Ford dealership in the Motor City area this fall and its Hyundai dealership in the Chapel Hills Mall area next year, Cimino said.

Contact Wayne Heilman: 636-0234 Twitter @wayneheilman

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