By JACK WEATHERLY
Car trading means buying and selling vehicles.
But in Jackson and Ridgeland it also means swapping lots.
The latest is the occupation of the old Mercedes-Benz of Jackson location by what had been Mazda of Ridgeland.
The Mercedes-Benz dealership owners moved to Ridgeland in January.
Last week, the move of the Mazda franchise became official with the erection of the Mazda signs on the former Mercedes location at 5397 Interstate 55 on North Frontage Road.
“It’s a more prime location,” said Cassidy Carr, general sales manager for the Mazda dealership.
The move is an expansion for the Mazda franchise. “The service department is much larger,” Carr said.
The franchise currently employs 39, including five added since the move in January, she said. A few more will be added, she said.
There was an average inventory of 90 new vehicles at the old location; that has been increased by a third, she said. The used-vehicle inventory has been more than doubled to more than 200, Carr said.
The Mazda dealership is one of 10 franchises in the Barnes Auto Group, owned by Joe Marshall.
Higginbotham Automobiles LLC sold its Porsche dealership to Smith Automotive Group of Delray Beach, Fla., when it moved its Mercedes-Benz dealership to Ridgeland.
That dealership sale likewise was a growth move for the buyer.
Another luxury-vehicle dealership is also making plans to move from Jackson to Ridgeland.
The Ritchey Group will move its Jaguar, Audi and Range Rover franchises dealership at 5320 I-55 North in Jackson to a site on I-55 N. Frontage Road in Ridgeland.
It will leave its Volkswagen dealership in Jackson.
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