Central Valley Automotive is making changes, moving and remodeling its dealerships.
The Modesto automotive group is home to Volkswagen, Nissan, Infiniti, Chrysler/Jeep and Dodge/Hyundai dealerships.
Starting on Monday, Dodge will join the Chrysler/Jeep location at 4460 N. McHenry Ave. Currently, it is paired with Hyundai.
The Volkswagen dealership, now housed alongside Chrysler/Jeep, will join Hyundai in the former Dodge location at 4620 N. McHenry Ave. and begin a complete remodeling in spring.
Central Valley Automotive President John Gardner said the changes have been in the works for months. The company purchased the former Fireside Dodge/Hyundai dealership in April 2008. The plan had been to move the brands around shortly after that, but the economy went south.
"Now we're very bullish on all of our brands," Gardner said, thanks in part to a 10 percent to 15 percent uptick in sales from this time last year.
He said the new pairings are more natural partnerships for the brands. The Dodge Ram trucks, Jeeps and Chryslers will be together, as will the more fuel-efficient Korean import and its German counterparts.
Some of the brand signs have been moved; work will continue through the weekend.
The new Volkswagen/Hyundai site will be remodeled to not only update the dealership's look but also bring in green features. The renovations will begin in May and are expected to last four months.
"We will be a very modernized, contemporary facility," Gardner said. "We're exploring solar roofing and a new lighting system for outside which is totally green. There will be a lot of green elements in the inside of the showroom, and sustainable and reusable materials. It complements the brands. Hyundai is the leading manufacturer on fuel economy and Volkswagen has their incredible diesel and zero-emissions cars."
Central Valley Automotive's two other dealerships, Nissan and Infiniti, will remain unchanged.
Gardner said that despite slumps in car sales nationally, he's confident about Central Valley's expansions.
"We've been very fortunate with all of our brands," he said. "We've been fortunate to maintain our profitability so we're able to make these expansions now and not wait."
Bee staff writer Marijke Rowland can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 578-2284.