Later that week, he opened a new used car/truck sales center on the site.
“The body shop is impressive. It’s really state-of-the-art. We can bring a vehicle inside and do all we need to do and never have to take it back outside until we are done. It’s under one roof,” Dannehower said. “I’m being told that Toyota will have other dealers come through here and look at this because of the way it flows.”
The new facilities are at 966 W. International Speedway Blvd., a half mile south of the main dealership at 451 N. Nova Road.
Dannehower bought the three-acre site for $1.6 million in late 2012. It was home to Daytona Lincoln Mercury for almost 40 years when the dealership closed in 2009. The property wraps around two sides of the Krispy Kreme doughnut shop on the northeast corner of International Speedway Boulevard and Nova, one of the city's busiest intersections.
Dannehower tore down the old buildings and removed the property's old concrete and asphalt surface in 2014. He has invested more than $6 million in constructing and outfitting the two new buildings. The 30,000-square-foot body shop/used vehicle sales center complex is creating approximately 40 new jobs.
The body shop/service center has some new equipment in addition to equipment being moved from the main dealership to the new building, said Steve Spiletic, collision center manager for Daytona Toyota.
The relocation of the body shop, which is three times the size of the old body shop at the main dealership, will allow the service center at the main dealership to be expanded as well.
“This is definitely the latest in collision centers in the region,” said Tim Lloyd, a regional collision consultant for Southeast Toyota Distributors. “It has the latest and greatest equipment products in the repair process. It’s a certified Toyota collision center that facilitates the lean production process to get cars repaired faster so customers are without their cars for a shorter time and its repairs are done right to factory specifications.”
The new body shop also meets Toyota’s Image USA II design standards that required dealers to renovate existing collision centers, Lloyd said, adding, “Gib took it a step further by building a new one."
The used car and truck sales center is in a 5,000-square-foot building with a showroom for four to six vehicles. It also has offices for the sales staff, collision center staff and insurance partners.
The showroom and lots will feature higher-end used cars for sale including Toyota, Lexus, Porsche, coupes, sedans and sport-utility vehicles. Dannehower expects to sell 40 to 50 used Lexus's a month.
The showroom faces south to maximize the exposure along International Speedway Boulevard, the city’s main east-west corridor between Interstate 95 and the beach.
The property can display about 125 used vehicles for sale.
The main dealership will still sell used cars, but all the used pick-up truck sales will initially be consolidated at the new sales center and displayed on the lot along Nova Road.
Thank you to The Daytona Beach News-Journal for permission to reprint this article.