Chrysler Dodge dealer eyes Northampton for expansion
NORTHAMPTON — A Chrysler Dodge dealership in Enfield, Conn., intends to expand its reach into Hampshire County early next year when it opens in the former Ford of Northampton spot on Damon Road.
Anthony F. Troiano, who will own the dealership with Robert Artioli, said Chrysler has been interested in opening a store in Northampton for some time to sell new and used Chrysler, Dodge, Jeep and Ram vehicles under one roof. Some of those brands had been sold under separate dealerships in the past.
When the former Ford dealership spot at the corner of Damon Road and Industrial Drive opened up last month, Troiano said Chrysler jumped at the chance to enter this region.
“I think Northampton will be a good fit,” he said. “It is a great demographic and a great market.”
The store, to open in January under the name Northampton Chrysler, Dodge, Jeep and Ram, will be the third dealership under the Artioli chain. The company is headquartered at Artioli Chrysler Dodge in Enfield and also has a dealership in south of Hartford in Colchester, Conn.
The Northampton dealership, at 55 Damon Road, will create 40 mostly full-time jobs, including sales staff, technicians, auto parts and administrative positions, Troiano said. In addition to car sales, the dealership will include a parts department and a service area with seven bays.
The company does not plan to make immediate changes to the lot, which will hold between 100 and 125 vehicles, or the 10,800-square-foot building, other than a fresh coat of paint and installation of new signs. Future plans call for altering the front of the showroom so that it resembles other stores in the Chrysler chain, Troiano said.
The License Commission was expected to vote on the company’s application for a car dealer license at its meeting Wednesday, contingent on the dealership providing proof of its franchise agreement and approval of a zoning permit application from the building commissioner.
With the expansion, Artioli joins several other car dealerships to relocate or expand in Northampton’s busy commercial district along King Street near its intersection with Damon and Bridge roads.
Last month, Ford of Northampton vacated its longtime dealership — Artioli’s new home — and moved to the much larger former home of Northampton Motor Classics and Dana Automotive space at 968 Bridge Road.
Meantime, the Northampton Volkswagon dealership at 48 Damon Road, owned by the Cosenzi family, is constructing a new showroom and repair facility at the former Kollmorgen Electro-Optical building at 347 King St. The dealership intends to move its operations there next year.
Construction of a new Lia Kia dealership at 263 King St., in the parking lot of Lia Honda, is under way. Lia Auto Group of Albany, N.Y., which operates Lia Toyota at 280 King St. and Lia Honda at 293 King St., is constructing a showroom and service building for Lia Kia.