By: Krystal Krenek
Photos by: Leonel Munoz
The moving trucks are gone. The boxes are unpacked. The new cars are lined up and gleaming. Bert Ogden Harlingen Hyundai is open for business in West Harlingen on Expressway 83!
Bert Ogden Rio Grande Valley sells approximately 1,500 vehicles a month. With this new expansion, Bert Ogden Harlingen Hyundai is projected to sell another 200 vehicles a month, which is a great accomplishment for the Rio Grande Valley. With plans in the works to add Dodge, Chrysler, Jeep, Ram, and Kia, Bert Ogden Harlingen Hyundai will be the anchor dealership for what will eventually be known as the Bert Ogden Harlingen Auto Plaza.
“Once all the dealerships are up, we are projecting to sell 400 to 500 vehicles out of this location. This would rank Bert Ogden Rio Grande Valley in the top 20 dealer groups in the United States. The Harlingen location will grow from just under 60 employees to 225. This is a huge boost not just to the Harlingen economy, but to all of the Rio Grande Valley and South Texas,” proudly states Belinda Zapata, General Manager.
Owners Bob and Janet Vackar were approached by Hyundai in 2009, and the agreement to take on the franchise was made. Hyundai is the 4th largest vehicle manufacturer in the world and prides itself on building quality vehicles that are competing with top luxury models while being priced an impressive $20,000 to $30,000 less. Both parties saw the value in working together with their combined focus on quality and customer service. In fact, Bert Ogden Harlingen Hyundai can now boast the availability of the Equus, which is a top-of-the-line luxury car that can compete with a Lexus or Mercedes. The Equus is actually designed to have a chauffer behind the wheel while the back seat is well-equipped for the on-the-go business associate. Additionally, the current Hyundai lineup includes four vehicles that offer 40 miles to the gallon.
With the vast growth of the company over the years, the desire to expand further and open a new location has been in the works for more than 15 years. The property where the new location sits on Altas Palmas was purchased in October of 2009. That location has been in operation on-site since July 20th of this year.
“The land was rural at the time and was in need of development to establish the infrastructure. Once construction started, the main building went up in four months,” affirms Bob Vackar. Bert Ogden has been a Valley staple in the car industry since 1977. Mr. Bert Ogden started out as a salesperson prior to purchasing his very first GM dealership, which was located in Edinburg. In 1992, Mr. and Mrs. Ogden were both tragically killed in a car accident. Their daughter, Janet Ogden Vackar, and son-in-law, Bob Vackar, have continued with Mr. Ogden’s vision as they carry on the family legacy.
In 1994, the Dodge Chrysler dealership was purchased, followed by Kia, and now Hyundai. There are a total of 20 franchises under the Bert Ogden name between Hidalgo and Cameron Counties. The Vackars and everyone behind the Bert Ogden name are very excited about the new facility and service opportunities. They celebrated their Grand Opening on August 23rd with a warm and enthusiastic welcome from the community. Modernizing. Upgrading. Expanding. These are all things Bert Ogden Rio Grande Valley has accomplished in Bert Ogden Harlingen Hyundai. Stop in to see their impressive new facility and peruse their fine selection of industry-leading vehicles. Because when it comes to both sales and service, Bert Ogden Harlingen Hyundai is driving you home.
Bert Ogden Harlingen Hyundai is located at 8621 E. Expressway 83 Frontage. Visit www.BertOgden.com, where you can shop online, visit the individual Internet departments, and even set up service appointments, or call 956.423.5555.