ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — Jaguar has a new Albuquerque habitat.
The Melloy family has sold its local Jaguar franchise to Land Rover Albuquerque, concluding a 50-year run with the luxury car brand.
Jaguar has officially moved in with Land Rover at 5010 Alameda NE. On Monday, the dealership owned by Rocky Hughes formally rebranded itself Jaguar Land Rover Albuquerque.
The sale, completed last week for an undisclosed amount, will allow Melloy to expand its neighboring Nissan business into the former Jaguar lot on Lomas NE. It also follows a national push to combine Land Rover and Jaguar sales in one location.
Joe Melloy — whose father and uncle built the Melloy family’s New Mexico auto empire — said he didn’t want to part with Jaguar but that it was a logical step. To keep Jaguar and also accommodate Nissan’s needs would have required Melloy to build a stand-alone location elsewhere, an expensive and somewhat unorthodox move since stand-alone Jaguar dealerships have become an endangered species. The national trend has been to merge Jaguar and Land Rover — both owned by Tata Motors — under one roof.
Melloy said his late father, Bob, started discussing a sale with Hughes about a year before his death last November. The family ultimately decided to proceed with the deal.
“It will be good for Land Rover, and it will be good for Melloy Nissan too, but it’s sad because we’ve had it since the ’60s,” he said, noting that Melloy’s official 50th anniversary selling Jaguar would have been in September.
Hughes said combining the two high-end brands in one place is a matter of convenience for car buyers “because we share a lot of the same customers.” Since he absorbed the Jaguar inventory last week, he said he’s already sold one new Jaguar and two used models.
The sale will lead to expansion and remodeling projects for both Melloy and Hughes. Hughes said he’d have to add about 1,000 square feet to his site and overhaul the front of the property.
Melloy, meanwhile, will expand its existing Nissan service department and lounge and use the former Jaguar space for a new showroom to specifically highlight Nissan’s truck offerings.
“It will be a multi-million (dollar) investment,” he said.