Suzuki and Mitsubishi franchises have been acquired by a rare buyer — an “upwardly mobile” buy-here/pay-here Dallas dealer, Chacon Autos, Ltd.

The 42-year-old used-car retailer is entering the new-vehicle business because it was losing customers to new-car dealers. One-time perennial buyers of $5,000-$6,000 pre-owneds now can qualify for loans or leases on brands with entry-level cars costing up to three times as much, says network found Bill Chaney.

“Going up-market is something few dealers in buy-here/pay-here are doing in Dallas,” says Chacon treasurer Gary Chaney, Bill's brother. “A few years ago, our average selling price rose to a level now about $17,000. This includes our five stores in Dallas and one in San Antonio. So we added a Suzuki franchise in Dallas and one in New Braunfels, TX.”

“That has led to a Mitsubishi franchise in the Dallas market, which we will locate in a new Greenfield building set to open in July, 2008.”

The Chacon chain reported nearly $60 million in total revenues in 2006 and surpassed that mark in January-September sales this past year.

Chaney says his pre-owned network never advertised until landing the Suzuki franchise. The additional expense of advertising with the Suzuki expansion is being offset by the increased availability of inventory acquisitions at auctions and in off-lease units, says Bill Chaney.

“The Suzuki and Mitsubishi additions promise to bring in higher percentages of trade-ins in better condition, with fewer miles on them,” says Bill Chaney.