Kimball Motors in San Luis Obispo has new owner

Charlie Alfano has several decades of experience in the auto business and has plans for updating dealership

sdaniel@thetribunenews.comMay 8, 2012 

The new owner of the former Kimball Motors has big plans for the Mercedes-Benz and Chevrolet dealership at 1423 Calle Joaquin in San Luis Obispo. Charlie Alfano recently purchased the dealership for more than $3 million.

Originally from Chicago, Alfano has spent the last several decades in the automobile business, mostly in sales and management at dealerships in the Midwest, Texas and Southern California.

Alfano said his goal was to own a dealership, and when the opportunity to purchase Kimball Motors came along, he couldn’t refuse.

Kimball was started in 1947 by Fred C. Kimball on lower Higuera Street in San Luis Obispo. In 1959, James W. Kimball, Fred’s son, took over the business. It was put up for sale earlier this year.

“It’s a great opportunity and there’s only one way to go and that’s up,” said Alfano, who has renamed the dealership Alfano Motorcars Inc. Alfano retained the majority of employees who had been working for Kimball. However, he still has positions he needs to fill.

Over the next two years, Alfano plans to remodel the dealership. Before starting the remodeling project, which Alfano estimates will cost “somewhere in the millions,” he is overseeing a clean up of the 4.81-acre property, as well as painting, landscaping and installing new signage. A new website is also in the works.

Alfano said he wants to increase the dealership’s Internet presence and plans to add to his stock of new vehicles for sale.

“This is just a great opportunity in a great area,” Alfano said.

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