Dispute over moniker delays Acura’s posh showroom

Winning over luxury-car customers can take having a posh dealership with hand-and-foot service, but for Mississippi’s only Acura store it is all in a name.

Concerns over the dealership’s name have kept Acura of Jackson from building a swank $4 million showroom to keep up with a handful of competitors.

A signage issue put on hold Acura of Jackson’s plans to build a $4 million, high-end dealership. The problem? It’s in Ridgeland.

During a site-plan review meeting in June for the new building, Ridgeland Mayor Gene McGee said he wanted the dealership’s sign to say Ridgeland.

“We just asked that they consider changing their signage to reflect the location. Ridgeland has a very good business climate and we like to promote it. It’s a safe place with a strong economy,” McGee said.

Acura of Jackson general manager Mike Tierney said he never wanted to argue with the city but since the dealership sells to the better part of the state, the Jackson name plants a bigger flag. Since Alabama-based Tameron Automotive Group bought the dealership more than a year ago, it invested thousands into branding the Acura-of-Jackson name on everything from tag frames to its Web site.

Both parties are working on a compromise, one that could end with a name like Acura of Jackson in Ridgeland, or perhaps just Acura. McGee said he’s confident they’ll find a solution. Tierney, a Ridgeland resident, said he’ll need final approval from Acura’s corporate headquarters.

The result is there’s no construction start date yet. Once work on the new, 30,000-square-foot dealership begins, the finish line will be nine to 10 months later.

“It was kind of a hurry-up-and-wait situation. We’re at the starting line but we don’t want to start until we’ve got 100 percent approval,” he said.

Clarion Ledger