Car dealerships to serve demand of growing population, economy

Automobile, truck and SUV sales are projected to reach about 315,000 in 2012—the highest number of vehicles sold annually in the Houston area since 2007—according to a report by the Greater Houston Partnership. In Northwest Houston, two car dealerships are expanding operations to better satisfy the area's growing population and thriving economic trends.

Baker Nissan will relocate its north location a few blocks down to 19630 Hwy. 290 in late October, according to a statement released last month.

"We've been [at the old location] since 1990 and have outgrown it," said Beth Miles, human resources manager. "We've been working on [the expansion] for two and a half years. It will have everything we offer now, but will be improved and refurbished."

The 80,000-square-foot location will employ more than 150 people, and Baker Nissan is looking to hire about 20 new employees for the refurbished location's expanded sales floor and larger service shop, Miles said.

The new service and body shop has been built from the ground up, she said. Other features include an expanded show room large enough to house three vehicles, about 20 information tables and offices. The size increase to the service area will provide larger, faster lifts for express service along with three paint booths.

Energy saving attributes such as efficient AC units, upgraded lighting, a water-recycling car wash system and LEAF charging stations help the new location move in a green direction, Miles said.

The grand opening will take place Oct. 22 and will feature a ribbon cutting, free giveaways all week and an all-day party for new and returning customers.

Beck & Masten North is renovating its location at 11300 FM 1960 to display a whole new look after more than 30 years of business. The remodel created a larger sales floor, body shop and parts department, said Joe Pierce, general sales manager.

Construction for the expansion began in January. Work on the main building has been completed and has begun on the facility's service drive. Beck & Masten is expected to move in to its new facility next week. Upon completion, the location will become the largest GMC building in the country with a sales floor offering Buick and GMC vehicles, and service for all GM makes and models. The facility will also feature energy efficient lighting and energy retention plans, Pierce said.