Car dealership moving to Courtland

Published 9:31 am Wednesday, August 29, 2012

COURTLAND—A Franklin car dealership is moving to the former Blake Auto Sales building at 27444 Southampton Parkway outside Courtland.

Cars & Credit in Franklin is moving to the Blake Auto Sales building on Southampton Parkway in Courtland. -- FILE

Cars & Credit expects to double its workforce and increase its inventory from 65 vehicles to 100 vehicles after it opens on Labor Day, said Sales Director Al Childs.

“We are growing at a rate that has made it very clear to us that we have outgrown this facility,” Childs said. “We also feel the exposure and traffic count on Route 58 will be much greater.”

Owner Tony Thompson of Suffolk for three years has operated the used car lot and auto repair service from 125 S. College Drive next to Sherwin-Williams Paint Store. The Saddler family from Emporia owns the building.

“We love Franklin; most of our clientele comes from here,” Childs said. “It’s been great and will continue to be great, and we will continue to serve the area, but better.”

Cars & Credit employs seven and will need certified service technicians, sales people, a lot attendant and someone to do maintenance, Childs said.

The Blake Auto Sales building has been vacant for two years. Located between the Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles and The Peanut Patch, the 12,000-square-foot building was constructed in 1969 for Bell Motors, a Chrysler dealership.

Blake Blythe, owner of Blake Ford in Franklin, sold used vehicles there from 2004 to 2008. Doug’s Auto Repair occupied the building after Blythe left; it has been vacant since 2009.

Blythe had been attempting to rent or sell the building, for which he had been asking $695,000.

He is pleased to have leased the building.

“I think he will do good there,” Blythe said. “There’s just a lot of traffic.”

The building is twice the size of Cars & Credit’s current building, Childs said, allowing for more space for the showroom, service area and parking lot.

Cars & Credit buys domestic and foreign cars from private owners, dealerships and auctions, and offers financing.

“We drive every car and test every car we buy,” Childs said.

He expects the dealership to be open 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday and 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday.