Since You Asked: Is John L. Sullivan moving car dealership to Yuba City?
Q: It is true that the John L. Sullivan car dealership is leaving Marysville?
A: Yes, it's true.
No specific dates are set, but John L. Sullivan Dodge Chrysler plans to hit the road for Yuba City some time after the new year.
"We'll be moving all four brands, Dodge, Chrysler, Jeep and Ram, to Harter Road and (Highway 20)," said Dave Rogers, a senior vice president with the Sullivan Auto Group.
That's good news for Yuba City and another blow to the already cash-strapped city of Marysville.
News of the pending exodus shook Marysville Mayor Bill Harris.
"That's going to be a real blow; there's no way around that," Harris said Saturday. "It's just sad to see them leave now."
The dealership has been among Marysville's top five generators of sales tax revenues for decades.
Revenue figures were not available over the weekend.
Losing the income will be another major stumbling block for a city already struggling to close a six-figure budget deficit.
"I'm not sure exactly how much sales tax it will take away, but it will hurt," Harris said. "The degree of the impact will be the question now."
Harris acknowledged the trend for dealerships to move closer to major highways, which only complicates Marysville's tenuous position.
The Sullivan Auto Group purchased the Fifth Street dealership in 2006 after then-owner Don McCullough passed away.
Plans to move to Yuba City were in the works, but were scrapped in 2009 after the economic collapse.
"But sales numbers have evened out and we've seen a spike in the economy, so it's time," Rogers said.
Rogers said the Fifth Street location is "too challenging" for an auto dealership.
"Too much has changed over the years and it's not a viable location for a franchise," Rogers explained. "We just don't receive enough drive-by traffic."
The move is months away and the Sullivan Auto Group still has to construct a building at their Yuba City site, but Harris said Marysville needs to be weighing options as soon as possible.
"We're going to have look at this as another opportunity to bring something positive in there for the city," Harris said. "The city's just going to have to cope with it."
Since You Asked is published on Mondays. Send questions to reporter Rob Parsons at the Appeal-Democrat, 1530 Ellis Lake Drive, Marysville, CA 95901, email him at email@example.com or call 749-4785.