By Kurt Batdorf The Herald Business Journal
MARYSVILLE — A Honda automobile dealership is scheduled to open in north Marysville in the next year.
Honda awarded the franchise to O’Brien Auto Group, the largest auto dealer in the Pacific Northwest with eight new-car dealerships in King County, four in Pierce County and three in Salem, Ore. Construction on Honda of Marysville will begin in March , and it’s scheduled to open for business in the fall of 2013.
“Honda took a lot of care in awarding this franchise, and we are honored to be viewed as the best fit to serve this important market,” O’Brien Auto Group owner Michael O’Brien said in a news release. “Our goal is to create a best-in-market reputation for sales and service that attracts consumers and businesses from Everett to Bellingham.”
O’Brien said Honda identified and bought the north Snohomish County site for the new dealership, which sits about 17 miles north of Klein Honda in Everett and 30 miles south of Sims Honda in Burlington. The manufacturer then spent six months interviewing 50 prospective franchisees before picking O’Brien and his group, which then bought the property from Honda.
“We think the market there will be phenomenal,” O’Brien said.
The full-service, state-of-the-art dealership will be east of I-5 and north of the new 156th Street NE overpass. Once completed, it will feature a 20,000-square-foot showroom, 20 service bays, an extensive parts department and a fleet of service loaner cars. O’Brien said he’s looking at options to make the new building certified for energy savings and green-building techniques by Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design.
Honda of Marysville will become the third Honda dealership in Snohomish County, joining Klein Honda and Lynnwood Honda in Edmonds. O’Brien said he expects to employ 75 to 100 workers once Honda of Marysville is up and running.
The announcement comes at a time when auto sales are quickly approaching pre-recession levels.
“After a tough four years, auto sales across the country are finally rebounding to levels we saw back in 2008,” O’Brien said in the news release. “Honda is major driver of that growth and, as a result, should provide a nice boost to the Marysville-Everett economy.”
City officials welcomed the news.
“O’Brien Auto Group has a tremendous reputation for doing right by its customers and taking an active role in the communities they serve,” Marysville Mayor Jon Nehring said in the news release. “We are equally impressed by their commitment to employees and creating new jobs for residents in the areas surrounding each of their dealerships.”
O’Brien Auto Group is involved in the communities its dealerships serve and donates time and money to charities, including Mercer Island Boys &Girls Club, Seattle Children’s hospital and the Overlake Service League in Bellevue.
Founded in 1986, the O’Brien Auto Group is a privately held company that employs more than 600 people. Reported annual sales exceeded $500 million in 2011. Its other dealerships represent Toyota, Scion, Lexus, BMW, Volkswagen, Acura, Land Rover, Jaguar, Volvo, Fiat and Fisker.