Lithia Chrysler Jeep Dodge Ram Fiat will be moving out of the Santa Fe Auto Park to a new facility across Cerrillos Road, next to Newman’s Nursery.
Lithia started construction June 19 on a new $12 million facility centered around a 40,000- square-foot showroom and service center.
Lithia is the second car dealership to move out of the auto park after Honda Subaru of Santa Fe, which in 2016 moved to the west side of Cerrillos.
“The majority reason [to move] is to provide a state-of-the-art facility and have our own individual driveway,” Lithia General Manager Cory Vollmer said. “We want to get more exposure to drive-by traffic.”
The current Lithia Chrysler Jeep Dodge Ram Fiat is at the rear of the auto park with a 30,000-square-foot structure on 6.3 acres and a capacity for 300 vehicles. About 50 percent of the building is 40 years old, and parts of the other half are 25 years old, Vollmer said.
The new facility will be on 8.2 acres with capacity for 450 vehicles, with two entrances from Cerrillos Road and one from the rear. The new Lithia also will have climate controlled showrooms, Wi-Fi, an improved parts department and in-ground lifts in the service bays that would cause fewer “dents and scratches” on vehicles, Vollmer said.
The project has been contemplated for four-plus years. Construction completion is expected in nine to 10 months.
A Dodge dealership has been at the current location since 2002, with Lithia acquiring the dealership in 2004 and adding the other brands at later dates.