Posts Tagged ‘auto row’

Well, It Looks Like San Francisco’s Famous “Van Ness Auto Row” Isn’t Dead After All – Nissan and Infiniti Move In Today

Tuesday, May 1st, 2012

Well it appears as if “A Survey of Automobile-Related Buildings along the Van Ness Avenue Corridorwill need a new chapter ’cause Nissan has just moved into the old Ellis Brook Chevrolet building.

Get your deets below on the big news for our old Auto Row.

Buh-bye, Ellis Brooks Chevrolet. Make way for Nissan:

Click to expand – via sbfisher

“Nissan & Infiniti Open New Dealerships In Downtown San Francisco - Unique Dealerships Owned and Operated by Penske Automotive Group

SAN FRANCISCO, May 1, 2012  – Expanding into a key sales market that is known for a strong interest in leading-edge technology and environmentally smart products, Nissan and Infiniti have appointed a new Nissan dealer and a new Infiniti dealer in the heart of downtown San Francisco.

The new dealerships are located on Van Ness Ave., one of the Bay Area’s most famous and well-traveled automotive retail corridors. Both dealerships are owned and operated by one of the largest automotive retailers in the world – Penske Automotive Group (NYSE: PAG).

“Infiniti and Nissan products and brands directly align with San Francisco’s unique customer profile, making this effort a strategic element of our plan to grow sales volume in the U.S.,” said Brian Carolin, senior vice present of Sales and Marketing for Nissan North America, Inc. “The 100-percent electric Nissan LEAF has already surpassed 11,000 sales in the U.S. alone. Along with the forthcoming Infiniti LE all-electric luxury sedan, we will make a defining statement in a region known for innovation and technology leadership. We are excited to be represented in such a dramatic way by a leading retailer like Penske Automotive Group in this pivotal market.”

The opening of the new dealerships will help contribute further to Nissan and Infiniti’s sales and market share gains in the U.S. market. In 2011, the Nissan Division posted its best-ever U.S. sales year – up 17.3 percent over the previous year – and Infiniti continues to gain ground. Nissan North America, Inc reported its March 2012 sales of 136,317 units versus 121,141 units a year earlier, an increase of 12.5 percent, and a record for any month in the company’s history.

“I’m very pleased to offer the Nissan and Infiniti brands in world-class, state-of-the-art dealerships in San Francisco,” said Penske Automotive Group Chairman Roger Penske. “Our new facilities are unrivaled within the city offering an array of automotive services, including sales, service, parts, vehicle preparation and delivery areas all under one roof.”

Nissan of San Francisco and Infiniti of San Francisco are located in the Ellis Brooks Building – which opened for vehicle sales in 1935. The 8-story, 200,000-square-foot complex is unparalleled by any other dealership in the San Francisco marketplace and is one of the largest automobile retailing locations in the United States. The building was completely renovated to provide distinct representation for each brand, and features multiple levels of indoor new and pre-owned vehicle display, service, maintenance and retail parts area, separately branded showrooms, front entrances and signage.

Ever more deets after the jump.

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Will the Last Car Dealership on San Francisco’s Auto Row Please Turn Out the Lights?

Wednesday, January 21st, 2009

It used to be quite the scene, apparently, on San Francisco’s Van Ness, where drivers heading to the Golden Gate Bridge could see umpty ump new car dealerships all the way up the street. But times have changed, and one of the last new car dealerships on the avenue, Ellis Brooks Chevrolet, is going, going, gone. So now there’s no place to buy a Chevrolet in town.

The Chevy sign is still shining on Van Ness. Click to expand:

 

Some of the Auto Row buildings are still around, but they’ve been repurposed. Like the Cadillac Building at 1000 Van Ness for instance. Can you imagine a time when one single dealership could have had 260 employees? Let’s look back to 1964, via the Willie Brown biography from James Richardson:

“That day, pickets appeared in front of San Francisco’s posh Cadillac salesroom on Van Ness Avenue. Joining the pickets, Thomas Burbridge, the NAACP branch president, said they were protesting “the fact that out of some 260 employees San Francisco Cadillac hired only seven Negroes.” Eight police wagons were dispatched, but no arrests were made. Willie Brown and John Dearman showed up as well. They decided to take a stroll through the showroom and see what would happen. “Willie represented a lot of pimps, and they all drove Cadillacs,” Dearman remembered. “Willie and I walked out of the picket line and walked into the place. Willie was playing it really straight, just like he was really interested in buying a Cadillac, and the sales people were exceedingly helpful.”

These days, anyone trying to sell a car on Van Ness would be very happy for this kind of attention. Oh well.

Good-bye Auto Row.