Chevy dealership in Seaside

Six months after three Seaside car dealerships closed, leaving about 60 people out of work and Seaside without a major source of tax revenue, a national car dealer company is reopening them tomorrow, Jan. 23. 

"[Customers] see a very different experience, starting with sales, extending to service to parts to the transparency that we bring to the automotive world," says Joe Homen, a partner in the newly reopening Premier Chevrolet/Cadillac  and Premier Hyundai. 

Premier Automotive is based in Louisiana and has 22 dealerships nationwide, with locations in Louisiana, California, Kansas, Texas and Missouri. 

"We are definitely embedded in the communities we are in," Homen says, noting that he's "a local guy" who lives in Monterey County. 

He says the new ownership team brought back about 50 of former employees, more than 80 percent, noting some got jobs elsewhere. 

Car sales taxes are the largest source of revenue for Seaside, with taxes from car sales generating $4.4 million in the last fiscal year. The three former dealerships—Cadillac, Chevy (now consolidated into one) and Hyundai—all made the city's list of its top 25 sales tax producers in 2018. 

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Sara Rubin loves long public meetings, red pens and reading (on newsprint). She has been editor of the Monterey County Weekly since 2016, and has been on staff since 2010.

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