SAN DIEGO – CarMax, one of the largest used-car dealers in the nation, is set to open its first San Diego County location in November, according to the San Diego Union-Tribune. The company, which touts its haggle-free shopping experience, plans to open a superstore at 7766 Balboa Ave. in Kearny Mesa and sell a wide range of used-car models.
“Everything from a Mercedes to a Ford Focus,” CarMax spokeswoman Trina Lee said of the store, which will cover more than 20,000 square feet.
Most cars the company offers are between one and six years old and have less than 60,000 miles of use. While the national average selling price for a used car was $13,648 in 2006, the CarMax average selling price was $17,388.
CarMax puts every car it sells through a 120-point inspection, and the company promises not to sell any flood- or frame-damaged vehicles. It provides a five-day money-back guarantee. CarMax also will buy a customer’s car even if he or she doesn’t end up buying a car from CarMax.
The new San Diego location is part of CarMax’s aggressive expansion plan. The company, which has 82 dealerships in 23 states, is increasing its store base by as much as 20 percent a year. The company is making an aggressive push in California, opening a dealership in Riverside at the same time as the San Diego location.
The company said it is hiring about 90 people in San Diego.
Lee said the company tries to distinguish itself from other dealerships by offering set, low prices — the price tag on the car is the price a customer pays. Typically, dealers are paid the same commission no matter the price of the car. The goal is to make buying a car more like shopping for a new TV.
CarMax, which reported its second-quarter results last week, revised its full-year outlook downward because of the overall sluggish nature of the auto business. Still, sales for the quarter increased by 10 percent to $2.12 billion compared with $1.93 billion in the second quarter of last year, according to the San Diego Union-Tribune.
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