Billion re-entering car business with dealership in front of The Empire Mall

Sept. 20, 2018

Dave R. Billion is getting back into the Sioux Falls auto sales business.

Billion is opening Autos on the Mall and Better Auctions on the former Sioux Falls Ford site in front of The Empire Mall.

“It’s a foray for me back into the auto market in Sioux Falls,” said Billion, who parted ways with his family’s business, Billion Automotive, three years ago and agreed to a three-year noncompete.

He has dealerships in Montana and Williston, N.D.

Autos on the Mall will offer vehicle consignment and used-car sales. The plan is to start operations late next week. Once it’s up and running, Billion will hold occasional auctions on the property.

“I’ve done a number of auctions in Williston … with low-dollar vehicles we take in on trade and used inventory, and it seems the public has really enjoyed it,” he said.

“And if they don’t buy something, we have salespeople circulate and find out peoples’ needs and wants and fill them outside of the auction.”

He also plans to expand the business in front of the mall to include consignment motorcycles, snowmobiles, ATVs, campers and boats.

Auto consignment offers a way for vehicle owners to potentially net more than they would by trading in the vehicle at a dealership, Billion said.

“We want to provide consignment for people who typically buy new and feel like they’re not getting a fair trade (but they do it) because it’s convenient,” he said. “The concept is really to try and help the consumers better position themselves to get more value out of their trade.”

He also plans to list inventory and set up consignment appointments through autosonthemall.com.

He’s in the process of renovating the former Ford dealership building and will be offering auto repair as well. He plans to hire technicians, car detailers, sales and financing staff. A hiring event is scheduled Sept. 20 and 21 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the property at 4101 W. 41st St.

Paul Kneip has been hired as general manager. Gary Winter has been hired as the service manager.

“There will be a lot of familiar faces,” Billion said.

“With that location, I think it will bode very well with high traffic and high visibility. We will be utilizing that location somewhat indefinitely,” he said, adding that he has become part-owner of the property.

The owners announced a future redevelopment plan for the area earlier this year, which included a multistory mixed-use project.

“It depends on how well this dealership concept works,” Billion said. “In the event the rent factor is superior to tearing it down or redeveloping it, it may end up being the dealership.”

Billion re-entering car business with dealership in front of The Empire Mall

Dave R. Billion is getting back into the Sioux Falls auto sales business with a dealership in front of The Empire Mall.

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