TruWest Chrysler Dodge Jeep RAM is opening a new location along U.S. Highway 160 in a week.
This will be a second Cortez site for the auto dealership, joining its other store at 333 Broadway. The first few weeks of opening will be celebrated by hot dogs, musical performances and a Raminator monster truck appearance, said Geno Trujillo, the owner and general manager of TruWest.
Trujillo previously served as a sales manager for the business when it operated as New Country Auto Center and has since been running an independent dealership in Durango. He took over ownership of New Country Auto about seven or eight months ago, he said, although the name change wasn’t finalized until May 1.
He bought the property at 27792 U.S. Highway 160 late last summer, he said. The new location is across the highway from Cliffrose Garden Center at the former site of Cowboy Town.
In addition to the Cortez sites, TruWest operates at two places in Durango: It has a service center at 278 Sawyer Drive and an auto outlet at 82 Bodo Drive.
Trujillo said that they have added staff members and changed inventory, although much is staying the same.
“Just keep it flowing with what we have, and the talent and the quality of people that were here,” he said.
They are working on implementing more digital marketing strategies, he said, along with engaging non-English-speaking clientele. Currently, they have bilingual staff members who speak Navajo and Spanish, Trujillo said.
TruWest raised interest and curiosity in the dealership in the past few months with an advertising strategy that used headlines such as “The rumors are Tru,” referring to local talk about the purchase of New Country Chrysler Jeep.
Trujillo said his promotional idea also drew interest at the Four States Ag Expo and Four Corners Home and Garden Show.
“We had some questions, some inquiries,” he said. “We wanted to let people know something was new in town ... something was coming.”
The grand opening is May 17 and 18, but the more eye-catching festivities will take place the following weekend on May 24 and 25. The Raminator monster truck is coming back to town and will be available for tours and pictures.