CHANDLER, AZ - A groundbreaking this week for Chapman BMW, which is moving from Scottsdale to Chandler in 2008 — is the next step in creating a concentrated cluster of luxury-car dealers at Ray Road and Interstate 10.

The Chandler BMW dealership will be a four-level, 300,000-square-foot dealership on 6.6 acres including 800 parking spaces, 70 service bays, and a three-lane covered service drive. It will join Lexus, Mercedes-Benz and Audi at the site.

The dealership, which will employ 150, is expected to provide up to $1.5 million in yearly sales tax revenue to the city, company officials said.

The Chapman group and BMW moved to Chandler to be closer to its growing customer base in the Southeast Valley.

Randy Scott, who will be the dealership's general manager, estimated that 35 to 40 percent of his customers live in the Southeast Valley.

"It'll go over 50 percent," he predicted. "Market growth is huge in Chandler."

Market studies show the Southeast Valley as one of the top demographic locations in the state, Davault said.

"It's an excellent fit and will be a great opportunity for Chandler residents not only to buy BMWs, but to get their service right in town without having to go to Scottsdale to get factory service," he said.

Chapman Automotive Group has 16 franchises ranging from Hyundai to BMW in 21 locations, including Phoenix, Scottsdale, Tucson, Payson and Las Vegas.

The company began when Jerry and Mary Anne Chapman, originally from Jackson, Miss., moved to the Valley in 1966 from Monroe, La., to run Suburban Chevrolet in Chandler. Annual sales exceed $1 billion, and last year group was the 25th largest group in the country.

Of the 343 BMW dealers in the nation, the Chapman dealership moving to Chandler ranks No. 10 in new car sales.

Sales year to date of the Chapman Automotive Group are up 11.3 percent over 2006, said Bob Frisch, regional vice president of BMW North America.

Originally posted on Fleet Financials