Originally created 05/26/05

Budget is moving to Gordon Highway



Score one for Richmond County.

In a rare case of Columbia-to-Richmond County business migration, Budget Car and Truck Sales in Martinez is pulling up stakes and heading for Gordon Highway in June.

"It's been in the works for a couple of months. We've just kind of felt we can do a better job over there with that clientele," said J. Wayne Lee, Budget's general manager.

The dealership, which employs more than 20, has been in business since June 2000 at the intersection of Bobby Jones Expressway and Washington Road, a spot that's not always the easiest to drive through, Mr. Lee said.

"It's a tough area," he said.

In an effort to drum up sales, Mr. Lee has periodically taken his cars down to the Super Wal-Mart on Deans Bridge Road for a tent sale, a move that has met with great success, he said.

"We were doing very well. That's one reason we've thought about moving," Mr. Lee said.

Budget focuses on economical, later-model used vehicles, many of which started life at a rental agency. The Gordon Highway location will better serve the demographic that's likely to be most interested in Budget's offerings, Mr. Lee said.

The three-acre site at 2020 Gordon Highway will be an expansion over Budget's current 1.4-acre site, but the company will probably continue to offer between 100 and 150 vehicles, he said.

The dealership is expected to open during the first week of June. Although Gordon Highway and Richmond County still have many auto dealerships, some major lots, including an Andy Jones dealership, have moved to Columbia County in the past few years.

Reach Adrian Burns at (706) 823-3352 or adrian.burns@augustachronicle.com.