Thursday, December 13, 2018
Lowell City Council members with Sonic Automotive CEO David Smith and Chief Deputy Secretary for the NC Department of Commerce Elizabeth Crabill (center). Lowell leaders, from left, are City Council members Ken Ervin and Candy Funderburk, Mayor Sandy Railey, Mayor Pro-Tem Thomas Gillespie and Council members DeWayne Chitwood and Phil Bonham. In the photo below, Lowell Mayor Sandy Railey is welcoming Sonic Automotive at the announcement ceremony.
Christmas came early for the City of Lowell
The City of Lowell unwrapped an early Christmas present last week valued at more than $11 million, when Sonic Automotive announced it will bring 500 jobs over the next five years to a new building on Main Street in Lowell at I-85 exit 22.
Sonic Automotive is a Fortune 500 company and is among the largest automotive retailers in the United States. The Lowell offices will house marketing and advanced customer care operations for the company.
CEO David Bruton Smith made the announcement in a press conference coordinated by the Gaston County Economic Development Commission, which played a major role in bringing the jobs to Gaston County. Smith said the hiring process will begin in January 2019. The jobs are expected to pay an average of $53,000, which is $15,000 higher than the average annual wage in Gaston County.
Lowell Mayor Sandy Railey welcomed Sonic Automotive. “This is truly a historic day for Lowell,” she said. “This will provide a tremendous boost for our local economy.” City of Lowell officials have worked hard in recent years to develop the exit 22 property. “We are excited you are here, and we greatly appreciate you choosing Lowell for your newest office facility,” Mayor Railey said.
Gaston County Economic Development Commission Board Chairman Robert Browne welcomed Sonic Automotive, and Commissioners Ronnie Worley and Tracy Philbeck spoke on behalf of Gaston County. The state was represented by Chief Deputy Secretary of the N.C. Department of Commerce Elizabeth Crabill.
Rendering of the Sonic Automotive Lowell facility.