By JACK WEATHERLY
Higginbotham Automobiles LLC announced on Wednesday the sale of the Porsche of Jackson dealership so it can focus on growing its Mercedes-Benz of Jackson dealership.
Higginbotham is selling the Porsche dealership to Smith Automotive Group of Delray Beach, Fla.
Greg Peeples, who is general manager for the Porsche dealership, said he will remain in that position for Porsche Jackson.
John Smith, the buyer, plans to build up the dealership by increasing the inventory to 100-125 cars from 40-50, Peeples said in an interview.
“We’re excited about being in Jackson, Miss., and want to be a good citizen,” Peeples said. “As the only Porsche dealer in Mississippi, we want to service the whole state and beyond,” Peeples said.
He said the closest Porsche dealerships outside of Mississippi are in Memphis, New Orleans and Birmingham.
Peeples said the work force will be increased to 15 or 20 from the current 12.
Mercedes-Benz Jackson plans to open a new facility on a 10-acre site at the corner of I-55 and Steed Road in Ridgeland on Nov. 20 after moving from 5397 I-55 North.
Another luxury-vehicle dealership is also making plans to move from Jackson to Ridgeland.
The Ritchie Group plans on moving its Jaguar, Audi, Range Rover and Volkswagen dealership at 5320 I-55 North in Jackson to a site on I-55 N. Frontage Road in Ridgeland between Patty Peck Honda and Wilson Premier Honda.
A Ritchie representative asked the Ridgeland Board of Aldermen Tuesday night to issue $2.3 million tax increment financing bonds.
The aldermen voted 4-3 last year to approve a TIF district for the Mercedes-Benz dealership.
Trudy Higginbotham-Moody, co-owner and president of Mercedes-Benz of Jackson, said in the release that the company wanted to focus on meeting strong sales and service demands for the Mercedes brand in the market.
“We looked at our operations and just felt it was prudent to focus on energies on our Mercedes dealership at this time,” said Higginbotham-Moody, who oversees day-to-day operations at Mercedes-Benz of Jackson. “Our new location will dramatically increase our floor room, inventory and service area, and owning one dealership will allow us meet customers’ needs and deliver the attention our clientele deserve.”
The Higginbotham family also owns Mercedes-Benz dealerships in Collierville, Tenn., and Myrtle Beach, S.C.