If you have ever run up on a Volvo, there is a good chance that it came from Paul Moak’s dealership.
Paul Moak, and his namesake father, has been serving as Mississippi’s leading Volvo dealer since the early 1970s from their site on State Street in Jackson.
The Moak name will live on, but the location will change in late July when Paul Moak Volvo-Subaru will move into its new facility off Interstate 55 near the High Street exit.
“We’re really looking forward to it,” says Paul Moak Jr. “We’ll have to get a little closer before we set an exact date.”
Back on track
Jackson-based Mid-State Construction Company broke ground on the facility nine months ago. Originally scheduled to open in May, progress was slowed earlier this year by inclement weather, culminating in the April 4 tornadoes that struck the Jackson area.
“We lost about a month (because of the weather), but Mid-State has done a great job recovering from it,” Moak said.
The Volvo-Subaru dealership will sit adjacent to Paul Moak Honda, which has been open since around the turn of the century.
Moak says when he was looking for land to open the Honda place, he wanted visibility and a high traffic count. He got both in the parcel between the Fortification Street exit and the High Street exit. Downtown Jackson Partners (DJP), which promotes downtown businesses, lists the area as having one of the highest traffic counts in the Metro area, with around 20,000 cars per day passing by the site.
Along with the two dealerships in Jackson, Paul Moak Pontiac Buick GMC sits off I-55 in Ridgeland. But Moak admits Jackson is where his heart is.
“We’ve always been in Jackson and didn’t have a desire to leave. I was born in Jackson and lived here all my life. I feel a connection. I’m not against (Madison and Rankin counties) but I don’t want to pack up the bags and leave. My whole family is here.”
Moak is encouraged with all the construction going on downtown, things like the Pinnacle Building, Old Capitol Green, the convention center complex.
“When you see cranes, that’s real,” Moak said. “It makes you want to be a part of it.”
Close to customers
If groups like DJP have their way, downtown will no longer be a place that becomes all but deserted at the end of the workday. Mixed-use developments similar to the ones at the Electric Building and the Plaza Building and the renovation of the King Edward Hotel have a chance to turn downtown into a significant residential area.
“Those people will be our customers,” Moak said. “It’s all centrally located.”
Brands in demand
Volvos and Hondas have perennially been one of America’s best-selling brands. Each consistently ranks high in reliability, resale value and fuel economy.
And it is the latter that consumers are most concerned about, with the average price of a gallon of gasoline hitting $4 with no sign of dropping. By the end of the summer, experts are near unanimous that a gallon of gas will average $5.
That should mean good things for Moak.
“The price of fuel has certainly put gas mileage at the forefront,” he said. We’re tremendously pleased with our brands. Sometimes the stars and moon line up, sometimes they don’t. Right now, they’re lined up.”
Contact MBJ staff writer Clay Chandler at clay.chandler@ msbusiness.com .