Payson customers have a new place to shop for cars, trucks and SUVs.
The Arizona Rim Country Auto Center is now open at 404 E. Highway 260, in the old Ponderosa Steakhouse building.
Owned by Jeff Sievert, Art Stockman and John Ross, the auto center hosts its grand opening Saturday, Nov. 23. The business is open from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m., Monday through Saturday. The grand opening festivities will continue all day, with a live remote broadcast by KMOG from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Sievert, a formula car driver, said there will be Formula Atlantic and Formula 2000 race cars on display, plus gift certificate giveaways for Fargo’s and Majestic Mountain Inn.
Working with Sievert, Stockman and Ross at the auto center are Andre LaPolice, sales manager and Robert Schmidt. Stockman is serving as the business manager of the operation.
Sievert has been in Payson since 1989 and has been involved in numerous businesses. The Arizona Rim Country Auto Center is his first venture in a car dealership, however, his background as a racer and car fan gives him a strong knowledge of the industry.
Stockman is a new resident of Payson, moving here with his wife, Sharon, this summer from Tennessee. His background is in the restaurant business. He said he and his wife had wanted to move to Arizona for some time, but Phoenix was too big and too hot. “Payson is just perfect,” he said.
Ross, Payson’s Fire Chief, said, “I’m a passive owner. I am hoping to learn more about the business because I’ve always had a love affair with cars.”
LaPolice has been in the car business since 1957. He worked at a Minnesota dealership from 1973 to 1984, handling Rolls Royce, Mercedes, BMW, Porsche, Audi and Volkswagen. He moved to Arizona in 1984 and worked in sales at Scottsdale BMW. He has had a home in Payson for two years.
The Arizona Rim Country Auto Center is already selling cars. Currently there are about 20 vehicles on the lot, and the target is to keep 30 to 40 in stock. If the business does not have the desired vehicle on hand, it has access to every make, model and color in the world, Sievert said. A warranty is offered on every car sold, and extended warranties are available.
“Because Payson is growing, I think this car venture is good for the community,” Sievert said. “Our commitment is to satisfy all of our customers, and provide an alternative vehicle store.”
Ross said he has always enjoyed cars and joined the venture because, “I had the opportunity to get into the car business with people I know and trust and who enjoy cars too.”
Look for the business to expand in the future. The owners are looking into renting cars, opening a service facility and selling auto accessories.
“We invite people shopping for a vehicle to stop by and give us the opportunity to assist them with their transportation needs,” Ross said.
Arizona Rim Country Auto Center is at 404 East Highway 260, hours are 8 a.m. to 6 p.m., Monday through Saturday, call 474-4995 for more information.