The Smart family — who have been selling cars and trucks from their West Fifth Avenue location in downtown Pine Bluff since 1906 — completed the biggest move in the company’s history Saturday with the opening of its new 15-acre facility in White Hall.
Lee Smart, co-owner and general manager of Smart Auto Group, said the move to the site at the intersection of Interstate 530 and U.S. Highway 270 will allow the multi-brand dealership to better serve more of its customers.
“We serve all of Pine Bluff, White Hall and the surrounding areas and our new location is very convenient and has great accessibility,” Smart said. “Our family wanted to take our business into the future and this move was necessary to accomplish that.
“We are extremely happy with this new facility and look forward to serving our customers,” Smart said.
Smart said the new facility offers sales and service for the GMC, Buick, Chevrolet and Cadillac brands in the largest of three buildings while sales and service for Honda and for Hyundai will each be housed in their own buildings on the Smart Auto Mall campus.
“Our showrooms are larger and more customer-friendly,” Smart said. “We also have a large tent set up out front that will help keep our customers comfortable while they shop for a vehicle. We also have a used=car facility.”
Smart said the larger space allows for a wider selection of vehicles across the brands.
“We’ve been increasing our staff in anticipation of the move,” Smart said. “There is probably still some more room for growth on that front.”
Smart said plans for an official grand opening have not been finalized yet.
“We still have to get everything up and running first,” Smart said. “We’ve got to get the phone system and the Internet connections completed and make sure that the finishing touches on the new facility have been taken care of.”
Smart said the downtown location will continue to serve customers.
“We are going to maintain our body shop on Fifth Avenue and will actually expand it into what was the service department,” Smart said. “We will also have a satellite used car lot downtown.”
Smart said the Chrysler, Dodge and Jeep dealership will move from its current location on East Harding Avenue to the recently vacated Smart Honda dealership located at 3100 Auto Drive across from the Pines Mall once that facility is remodeled.
Smart said the company also has two dealerships in Malvern: one that sells Buick and GMC and another that sells Ford vehicles.
Smart said dealership staff and a large group of volunteers made the move an orderly process.
“We had about 70 people that volunteered their time to drive our inventory from W. 5th Ave. to White Hall last Friday,” Smart said. “We got it moved Friday and opened for business Saturday. Our employees helped to move everything that wasn’t nailed down.”