When Melvin Cooper heard that a distressed service center for medium- and heavy-duty trucks was up for sale in 2014 just minutes from his growing Chevrolet dealership, he jumped on the opportunity.
Buying the business, now known as National Truck Sales & Service, has allowed Cooper to free up service department capacity at the Chevrolet store. The operation, which is now profitable, also has helped diversify his growing automotive business.
Cooper, dealer operator of Watsonville Auto Group in California, was familiar with servicing medium- and heavy-duty trucks at Chevrolet of Watsonville, which he acquired in 2008. Cooper had an established relationship with large fleet customers, including the local beer distributor, a school district and several agricultural customers.
The only problem? The Chevrolet dealership, which had two service shops, including one devoted to commercial trucks, was running out of room. So Cooper bought the 15,000-square-foot repair center about 3 miles away and spent between $80,000 and $100,000 to renovate it.