Randall Noe Auto Group Opens Fiat Dealership
By CASEY MURPHY
Randall Noe is bringing a little Italian flair to Tyler.
The Randall Noe Auto Group opened its latest car dealership -- Randall Noe Fiat -- Monday, taking over the former Saturn of Tyler facility. Although construction to renovate the dealership is still under way, with only a few cars on the lot, it is open for business.
|Randall Noe Fiat's sales department is open from |
9 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Friday and 9 a.m. to
6 p.m. Saturday. Its service department is open 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday and 8 a.m. to noon Saturday. The dealership, at 3916 SSW Loop 323, can be reached at 903-561-8824 or
"It's something new to Tyler," General Manager Clint Lipsey said of Fiat. "We're just as excited about that as the pre-owned cars market," which, he said will be their focus.
The first Randall Noe Ford dealership opened in 1986 in Terrell, followed by a Jeep franchise in 1987 and a Chrysler-Dodge dealership there a year later. By 2005, Randall Noe was among the nation's top Chrysler dealers, Lipsey said. What grew to the Randall Noe Auto Group expanded from Terrell to dealerships in Rockwall, Commerce, Longview and now Tyler. Franchises include Ford, Chrysler, Jeep, Dodge, Subaru, Hyundai and now Fiat.
After Randall Noe decided to bring a pre-owned car center to Tyler, the company was contacted by Italian car maker Fiat about bringing a dealership here, Lipsey said, adding that Randall Noe and Randy Lee are co-owners of the Tyler dealership.
After years in the car business, Lipsey has climbed the ranks to run the Tyler business.
Lipsey, 44, grew up in Henderson and has lived in Tyler since the early 1990s. He attended Tyler Junior College and earned a marketing degree from Stephen F. Austin State University. After college, he worked for Snap-On Tools as a distributor for four years before getting into the car business. He started out as a salesman for Mike Powell in Tyler before working for Fairway Ford, Saturn of Tyler, Tyler Ford and Patterson Motors of Kilgore. He has worked in sales and as manager of finance, sales, used cars, new cars and service.
Lipsey is not completely settled into his new office at Randall Noe Fiat but has hit the ground running with his new post.
"We're a Fiat new car franchise and a pre-owned super center," Lipsey said.
He said Fiat has a unique way of marketing cars to its customers and refers to its dealerships as design studios. Renovations to the interior and exterior of the facility are being made to fit Fiat's image. The design studio will feature a wall unit with a large TV, where customers can access the Fiat website to design their own car, Lipsey said. From there, Randall Noe will try to find the Fiat that matches what the customer is looking for.
"You can design a car exactly like you want," he said. "There are numerous possibilities."
On Tuesday, there were only five Fiats on the lot, but Lipsey said he expected a shipment of about 40 more within about a week. He expects business to kick off after the shipment arrives and they can offer more of a selection, he added.
Lipsey said Austin has the No. 1 Fiat dealership in the country, beating out California. He said the closest Fiat dealerships to Tyler are in McKinney and Shreveport, La.
He called the Fiat a "well-built car with some Italian flair" and said they start out around $16,000 and go up to the mid-$20,000s. The Tyler dealership will also offer some special-edition models, such as the Gucci seen in commercials with Jennifer Lopez, and Abarth, a high-end performance version with a scorpion emblem that goes for close to $30,000, he said.
All of Randall Noe's Tyler pre-owned cars will be late models priced mostly in the mid-to-upper-mid range. He said there will also be a few highline cars, such as an Audi, Lexus and Acura now on the lot. Lipsey said they should keep well over 120 used cars at the dealership, with about 50 new cars at any given time. The lot had about 20 used cars on Tuesday and was still having vehicles delivered. By the end of May or first of June, he said Randall Noe Fiat's inventory should be ramped up to about 75 used cars, and should be at about 120 to 125 cars in the next three months.