NEGAUNEE - With a ribbon cutting Friday morning, the new Fox Negaunee dealership building officially opened.
The new building, which houses the GMC, Buick and Chevrolet dealership, opened several weeks ago, but its grand opening took place Friday, supported by the Lake Superior Community Partnership, the Greater Ishpeming-Negaunee Area Chamber of Commerce and other local businesses and city officials.
"Our success here comes from the staff we have," said Fox Motors President and Chief Executive Officer Dan DeVos. "The community has been very responsive.
"It's all about the people. The building is nice... The real difference is the people who are inside of it."
The new 20,000-square foot building was a nearly $3 million project provides a big boost for the city of Negaunee.
"This is a fantastic addition to our business district," said Negaunee Mayor Michael Haynes, who was on hand with other members of the Negaunee City Council for the ribbon cutting. "It's adding to the employment in the area, it's a growing a second dealership."
That second dealership, announced in April, will be housed in the former GMC dealership building and will sell and service Chrysler, Dodge, Jeep and Ram vehicles. DeVos said bids for the renovation and enlarging of the old building are expected in soon, with construction starting within a couple weeks.
"The entire front end will be new showroom," said Bob Hanson, general manager of Fox Negaunee. "The back is getting all remodeled."
Since arriving at Fox Negaunee in 2006, Hanson said he has seen the business grow from selling 500 vehicles each year to selling 949 last year.
"I'm so excited. I never thought this would happen," he said of the new building and new dealership.
That success has a lot to do with the support of the surrounding community, DeVos said.
"It's great to see such support," he said.
Johanna Boyle can be reached at 906-486-4401.