By Libby Martucci For HBJ
MARYSVILLE — A stretch of Smokey Point Boulevard is quickly becoming an auto row.
Marysville Ford just broke ground on their new dealership along the road in north Marysville, south of the Medallion Hotel. Honda of Marysville opened along the road earlier this year.
They’ll join Rairdon’s Marysville Chrysler, Jeep and Dodge, which has been there for years.
Marysville Ford has run a lot to the south for more than 10 years at 3520 136th Street NE. The new lot on Smokey Point Boulevard is an upgraded facility, not a change in ownership. It is expected to open in January.
The old dealership will continue to operate selling used cars.
“This is a new store but the same people who have worked here for years and served this community will continue to do so,” said Xavier Cortes, Marysville Ford general manager.
With its new 46,000-square-foot facility, the Ford dealership will employ at least 45 employees. It will boast a full service and parts department, a showroom, a small accessory retail store, a coffee shop with wifi and several lounge areas to accommodate their clients.
Just south of their under-construction lot is Honda of Marysville, which opened its doors at 15714 Smokey Point Boulevard in February. Honda has a state of the art facility that they say is taking an innovative approach to selling cars.
“It is a guest-first experience with negotiation-free ownership and a non-confrontational process that starts with extremely low and competitive prices,” said Pete Smith, general manager of Honda of Marysville.
The Honda dealership wants to treat consumers as “guests” and their sales personnel have been replaced with “brand specialists.”
With the brand specialists getting paid commission on customer satisfaction and volume of units instead of on the gross amount of each vehicle, the pressure to sell or buy a car with a higher sticker value has been eliminated, Smith said.
“We want to put the fun and easiness back into what we’re trying to do here while maintaining absolute transparency and a no-gimmick approach,” Smith said.
Honda’s 45,000-square-foot facility also houses a full service and parts department, a controlled environment delivery center, numerous lounges with wifi and Starbucks coffee available, and a 20,000-square-foot showroom floor.
Honda of Marysville is owned by the O’Brien Auto Group, which has been around for more than 25 years and says its known for its no-questions-asked return policy.
According to Smith, “Honda was very selective in who would get the next ‘point’ or dealership, in Washington, and they inevitably awarded the point to the O’Brien Auto Group because of their proven track record.”
With the O’Brien Auto Group also purchasing the 10 acres just south of Honda Of Marysville, the possibilities for expansion or another dealership could be on the horizon.
Rairdon’s Marysville Chrysler, Jeep and Dodge is just north of the other two dealerships.
Both Smith and Cortes said they think it is a positive for the dealerships to be close together, because it offers consumers the ability to shop locally for the brand they would like and compare prices without having to travel as far.
Both general managers have stated that the community and local businesses are excited and supportive of this auto dealer row that is emerging.
For more information, visit www.hondaofmarysville.com/ and www.marysvilleford.com/.