LISBON - The Elkton Auto Corral may be moving to town after the owners purchased the former Quinn Chevrolet dealership.
Jay and Susan Mullen submitted the high bid of $98,500 during Thursday's absolute auction of the dealership, which is located at the corner of East Lincoln Way and Jefferson Street. The final sale price is $108,350 because of a 10 percent buyer's premium fee.
The Mullens have owned and operated a used vehicle dealership on state Route 154 near Elkton since 2000. When asked if they planned to relocate the business to Lisbon, Mullen said they "we're thinking about it."
The Mullens said business is very good at the Elkton location but they have never been able to offer additional customer services due to the small size of the lot. Purchasing the dealership would remedy the problem.
"We've always wanted to be able to take care of our customers, service-wise," said Mrs. Mullen. They have also talked about possibly opening a Suzuki dealership at Quinn's, "but that's a big 'if' with Suzuki," Mrs. Mullen said.
The more likely option is relocating the Elkton Auto Corral to the Quinn Chevrolet property. The Mullens employ one person other than themselves, but would likely add four or five other positions with the move to Lisbon.
"We're going to try and get open as quickly as we can ... We'll see how it works. Otherwise, I'll lose my house," Mrs. Mullen joked.
The dealership - which includes a small showroom and upstairs offices, service area and 50-space car lot - has been closed since October 2009. Owner Rick Quinn purchased it in the early 2000s, and by 2005 Quinn Chevrolet was the one of the leading dealerships in Columbiana County.
The dealership began to decline in 2006 after a series of problems, and then came the recession, followed by the government's decision to close 1,100 GM dealerships in May 2009 as part of the auto industry bailout. One of those was apparently Quinn Chevrolet, although that was never confirmed, but the dealership began selling used vehicles exclusively about that time, before closing for good several months later.
The dealership was originally listed for sale in 2009 at $350,000, but there were apparently no takers at that price.
A crowd of about 100 people attended the sale, which was held by Kiko Auction, but most of them were either curious onlookers or those waiting to bid on garage equipment that was going to be auctioned following the real estate auction.