SANTA ROSA -- CarMax (NYSE: KMX), the nation's largest used-car retailer, plans to open a dealership on the Corby auto row in what would be its second North Bay location.
[caption id="attachment_92482" align="alignright" width="400"] CarMax stores generally have a common design. (credit: CarMax)[/caption]
The Richmond, Va.-based company filed an application with the city of Santa Rosa to build an 11,500-square-foot showroom and office building, adjoining 3,300-square-foot service center and 900-square-foot car wash on just more than seven acres stretching from 2800 Corby Ave. back to 477 Quillco Ct. off Dowd Drive, according to documents filed March 13.
The plan includes demolishing the existing dealership building and service center, formerly occupied by Hansel Prestige Imports, and improving the site with a separate parking for customers and employees and a gated lot for inventory.
CarMax describes the proposed Santa Rosa store as a "high-end retail operation" without promotional flags, balloons, window lettering, hood placards or "inflatable gorillas."
"It typically can take two to three years for the approval and construction process to open a store," said spokeswoman Michelle Topping Ellwood.
The company prides itself on low, no-haggle prices, a broad selection of CarMax Quality Certified used vehicles, and superior customer service. The service center generally is used to recondition cars the company purchases after an instore appraisal. But it's also available for routine maintenance for buyers who opt for a service plan.
During the 12 months ending Feb. 28, the most-recent reporting period, the company sold 526,929 used cars and 342,576 vehicles at in-store wholesale auctions to licensed dealers. Vehicles acquired but not up to CarMax standards are resold at the private auctions.
Unit sales of used cars in comparable stores increased 12 percent last fiscal year and 18 percent overall. Net sales and operating revenues increased 15 percent to $12.57 billion.