Wimberley to open at Diamond Ford

Published 5:46 am Thursday, February 26, 2004

By By JOHN EBY / Cassopolis Vigilant
As he nears his 15th anniversary with the auto dealerships that bear his name, Chuck Wimberley's partner's retirement did not give him similar thoughts.
In fact, Wimberley is moving ahead with plans to expand to Cassopolis in April.
Wimberley said in an interview Monday that the Cassopolis store will open for sales April 1 and add service in May.
The deal was completed Feb. 2. Wimberley's name was added when he returned to Dowagiac and joined the dealership Sept. 7, 1989.
The new location on M-60 East in Cassopolis has operated as Diamond Ford most recently, and previously as Hayden-Beardslee Ford.
In addition to the Ford and Chevrolet stores on M-51 South in Dowagiac and Pokagon Township, Wimberley also has a dealership in Battle Creek.
Jim Morris will manage the Cassopolis location, Wimberley said. The rest of the jobs will be created, albeit slowly.
Wimberley expects to start small and build -- three salespeople and, when service is added, a manager and two or three technicians.
Wimberley lives at Diamond Lake, so the thought of driving past an empty building springing to life again heartens him.
Haggin-Wimberley grew from two dozen employees to more than 150 by incorporating Springsteen's, Gratz's and the Chrysler store in Paw Paw, since sold.
Wimberley is serving some Cassopolis-area customers now, but this will extend access to surrounding towns, including Marcellus, Decatur, Edwardsburg, Three Rivers, Union and Jones.
Wimberley said Haggin's decision to retire surprised him.
Haggin hand-delivered the paperwork to dissolve their business arrangement within 60 days "because we've been partners for a long time."
Wimberley has his son, Chuck Jr., backing him up as vice president.