Business

Hudson Auto Center moves to Viking Avenue

Cars are already lining up at the Hudson Auto Center moving onto Viking Avenue. The used car lot is expected to open in April.  - Richard D. Oxley / North Kitsap Herald
Cars are already lining up at the Hudson Auto Center moving onto Viking Avenue. The used car lot is expected to open in April.
— image credit: Richard D. Oxley / North Kitsap Herald

POULSBO — One down, and a few more to go to fill up commercial vacancies on Viking Avenue.

This month, a local used car dealership brought its business to the west side of the city.

Hudson Auto Center of Bremerton has expanded its operation to Poulsbo, locating on the corner of Viking Avenue and Edvard Street, in front of the Regal Cinema.

The dealership adds a new business to a street that has struggled in recent years. Businesses on Viking Avenue closed or departed for other cities, leaving empty buildings in their wake, as well as curiosity as to what economic trend will fill the void.

Hudson Auto Center will occupy one such vacated building; a used car lot for the former Courtesy Ford dealership that closed in 2011. The dealership will fully open in mid-April, according to owner Darrin Hudson.

“I’ve been in business going on eight years and we want to be part of this community,” Hudson said. “My wife loves it out here, she wants to move out here, we live in Bremerton. We’re just good, honest people.”

Hudson Auto Center, a used car dealership, has two locations in Bremerton. Poulsbo will be home to its third dealership. It also displays its inventory online at www.hudsonautocenter.com.

“I opened my first location in Bremerton on Loxie Eagans Boulevard in 2007,” Hudson said. “It’s a small used car lot. It holds about 35 cars and we sell 20 or so a month. I couldn’t park any more cars there so I opened a second location, also a small used car lot on Callow (Avenue). It holds maybe 40 cars. Between the two, we were selling plenty of cars.”

Poulsbo and the vacant auto shops on Viking Avenue presented a tempting option to expand his business for a variety of reasons.

“There’s a turnkey car dealership here,” Hudson said. “I don’t own my other two locations, I lease them. This one I bought and I own it.”

He added, “Poulsbo is a great area. The buildings on Viking (Avenue) might be empty but the traffic isn’t. There is a ton of traffic going by here every day.”

That traffic means a stream of potential customers — customers that have access to the owner himself.

“Come and see us and know that we are just regular guys,” Hudson said. “I know that people get scared when they go and buy a used car or a new car, just because of the environment. But I guarantee if you walk into any dealership in Bremerton, you are not going to talk to the owner. If you wanted to walk into a new car store and ask for the owner, you are not going to talk them. I’m here. I’ll go out and talk to customers.”

He added, “It’s not like when you go to a new car dealership and five guys jump on the hood of your car. That scares people. That’s not what we do.”

The Hudson dealership will be the second dealership in Poulsbo — Liberty Bay Auto Center is the other, located half a mile away.

“There is a local dealer around the corner that has a great reputation,” Hudson said. “They’re good guys, I know all of them.”

They’re also different than Hudson’s dealership, he said, which boasts a diverse inventory.

“We are going to fill two different niches,” Hudson said. “They like to deal with nice, current model years and go back maybe three or four years, and I deal with everything from the $1,000 pick-up to go to the dump with, all the way up to $25,000 truck, or your kid’s first car that’s $3,000.”

“If you want to buy your 16-year-old a car, you can buy one of those from me,” he added. “Or you can buy a $25,000 ’12 Subaru that I got out there (now).”

Hudson noted that all his used cars are detailed and safety inspected.

“If there is anything needed after the safety inspection, we fix it,” he said.

The dealership made the announcement of its move to Poulsbo on March 28 via its Facebook page.

“We are happy to say after seven years of hard work, we have purchased our third location in Poulsbo,” the dealership’s Facebook post stated. “We have (to) thank our wonderful real estate agent Victor Targett for guiding us through nine months of commercial drama. We look forward to our opening in April 2014.”

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