Tom Carey is planning some mixing and matching on the Hickman auto mile in Urbandale that includes a move to a larger facility and a sale to European Motorcars, where Greater Des Moines will get its first look at BMW's line of electric and hybrid vehicles.

 

Carey is president of Ramsey Auto Center. The company is two months into a renovation of its former used car and General Motors dealership at 9625 Hickman Road to accommodate its burgeoning Subaru and Mazda brands.

 

The move is just next-door from Ramsey's current location, 9631 Hickman Road, where showrooms, parts and warehouse departments are squeezed into about 21,000 square feet. The new space has 59,526 square feet.

 

That added space is the kind of thing Carey can get excited about.

 

"We'll double our service and parts and warehouse capacity, which is going to be terrific for us," he said.

 

The building, which most recently served as Ramsey Auto Center's used car headquarters, will have separate showrooms for Subaru and Mazda, more lot space, and the parts and warehouse departments will double in size.

 

There will be customer lounges for each brand and a new façade.

 

That extra space is needed, with Carey expecting a record year for Subaru sales and increasing demand for Mazda.

 

Carey plans to sell the vacated building to European Motorcars, where general manager Ed Collinet expects to host BMW architects, who will design a complete makeover.

 

The BMW I cars, one all-electric and the other a hybrid, will be sold as a stand-alone brand from the new location.

 

European Motorcars also needs the extra space because its sales of BMW and Mercedes-Benz vehicles have increased 38 percent in the last year. Mercedes-Benz will continue to be sold at the company's current location at 9993 Hickman Road.

 

In addition, the company has nearly doubled its workforce over the last 2 ½ years it has operated in Greater Des Moines.

 

Space is so tight at European Motorcars' current location that the company rents nearby parking space for customers and looked to Grimes to rent a building for its body shop, Collinet said.

 

"We're absolutely choking" at the current location, he said.

 

Plans are to begin renovating the newly acquired property in March, with the BMW move expected to occur in July.

 

European Motorcars also will add the Mercedes-AMG line of high-performance vehicles to its showroom, Collinet said.