Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Mercedes-Benz To Set Up Shop In Auto Mall

Mercedes-Benz To Set Up Shop In Auto Mall
By Ines Bebea

FAIRFIELD - Luxury car dealer Mercedes-Benz plans to open a dealership in the Fairfield Auto Mall. The dealership will be owned and operated by Paul Halata, the retired president and CEO of Mercedes-Benz, U.S.A.

The dealership is expected to open in 2008. Its 4.4-acre parcel will front Interstate 80 and be near the Highway 12 intersection.

"We are excited to bring Mercedes-Benz to Fairfield and anticipate a great future and much success with the Mercedes-Benz brand," Halata said Monday.

Halata and his son, Mark, plan to build a state-of-the-art dealership that includes a two-story glass building and parking on the roof.

Mayor Harry Price said the new dealership adds to an already strong auto segment in Fairfield.

"The visibility and the concentration of so many new and used car choices in Fairfield works very well for dealers," he said. "The tax revenue dealerships generate certainly help create a strong economic base for Fairfield."

According to the city's Economic Development Division, new car sales generated $2.9 million in taxes 2006. That figure is projected to increase to $4 million in 2008, encompassing 22 percent of the city's total sales tax income.

In addition to the Mercedes-Benz dealership, Simon Buniak, president of Golden State Mitsubishi and Suzuki, plans to move his Saturn dealership in Cordelia to the Auto Mall. The two moves will bring the total number of car dealerships on the 31-acre Auto Mall to 16.

"Fairfield is a good community for our new dealership because of its geographic location between two major cities -San Francisco and Sacramento," said Buniak.

Reach Ines Bebea at 427-6934 or ibebea@dailyrepublic.net.

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