Columbus, Ohio-based Haydocy Automotive is hooking up with Airstream Inc., according to a report by Columbus Business First. The company plans to open Haydocy Airstream and RV Center next to its Buick and GMC dealership by April.
“We built our Oldsmobile dealership in 2000. A month later, (General Motors) announced they were phasing it out,” owner Chris Haydocy said. “We’ve sat with an empty showroom for years.”
The 15,000-square-foot building, and the five acres it sits on, will become a dealership for Jackson Center-based Airstream’s travel trailers and touring coaches. Haydocy said the fit is ideal given a natural overlap with GMC buyers. He said Holman Motors in Batavia, Ohio, has proven that, rating as one of the top dealerships in the state for both RVs and GMC trucks.
Also, there’s room in the Columbus market for a dealership. According to 2012 sales data from Statistical Surveys Inc., only three of the top 20 dealers in the state are in Central Ohio – Specialty Auto Sales in Lancaster, RCD Sales Co. in Hebron and Tom Raper Inc. in London – and none of those cracked the top 10.
“Columbus is a starved market,” Haydocy said. “People in Franklin County buy, so there’s a huge pent-up demand for sales, service, parts.”
Airstream’s line of travel trailers and touring coaches runs from $35,000 to $139,000.
Haydocy said the investment will be several million dollars between the improvements and inventory. He expects to add 20 jobs and is taking applications.
Columbus Business First reported that the new dealership has been in the works for more than two years.
“We had to wait for the right timing and frankly, that was Oct. 8, 2012,” he said, referring to the opening date for the nearby Hollywood Casino Columbus. “There wasn’t a compelling reason to come to the West side before that.”
Haydocy said there is a natural fit with the casino since both RV dealerships and casinos are destination draws, pulling visitors from other counties and states.