AMHERST, N.Y. (WIVB) - A new owner has taken over the former Don Davis Honda dealership on Niagara Falls Boulevard in Amherst.
Zeigler Automotive Group, based in Kalamazoo, Michigan now owns the franchise. Zeigler owns a chain of auto dealerships stretching from Michigan to Ilinois and Indiana.
Brooks Weber, Zeigler Director of Operations, explained to News 4 why the company chose to purchase the franchise in WNY. "We looked at dealership opportunities in Massachusetts, and in Connecticut, and Pennsylvania, and lastly we came into Western New York, and kind of fell in love with the area," Weber said.
While they will sell Hondas in WNY, Zeigler Automotive Group sells just about every make and model, foreign and domestic, in their dealerships across the country.
Weber told News 4 they are planning a complete remodeling of the dealership. Later in the spring, they will demolish the existing buildings, and have a totally new look by the fall.
When finished, the location will be one of Honda's newest "Generation 3" dealerships which are eco-friendly and energy efficient.
"'Info cafes' where the customer can relax and read, or business centers where they can work during the day. There is video everywhere, kids' playrooms, there's WiFi, complimentary iPads with Netflix," Weber explained.
Automotive expert Art Wheaton says this trend toward 'mega-dealerships' seems to be preferred by the automakers and gives the dealers more leverage with the manufacturers, and financial centers.
"The larger you are, the more financing you can get. The larger banks will be willing to help give you a lower interest rate because you sell more volume, and you give us more business, so it makes sense for them to have a larger dealership presence," Wheaton said.
But Wheaton also warned that when the mega-dealers buy up the smaller dealerships, car buyers have fewer options.
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