The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

Local News

July 12, 2012

Fletcher Toyota Dealership back at full speed after getting hit by 2011 tornado

A fixture of Range Line Road is back in high gear nearly a year after the tornado wreaked havoc.

Frank Fletcher Toyota Dealership, 2209 S. Range Line, staged a grand opening ceremony Thursday. Rebuilding at the dealership began in October and was completed last month.

“In that time, we have built a state-of-the-art beautiful facility that is one of the nicest stores in the Midwest,” said Jim Adams, general manager. “On Oct. 6, the concrete trucks pulled in and started pouring.”

The new building has a 25,000-square-foot climate-controlled showroom that can show 22 cars at a time, an expanded service department for express maintenance and a business development center where customers can set up service and sales appointments.

Joplin building permits for the Fletcher Toyota and Nissan dealerships on Range Line Road, which were both total losses, had a combined value of $8.3 million.

The dealer also has stores in Columbia, Bentonville, Ark., Jonesboro, Ark. and Little Rock. Frank Fletcher Toyota has been in Joplin since 2001, when the company bought the Toyota store at the same location.

Since the storm, the dealership has focused on helping local schools through its Tools for Schools campaign. Adams said the hope is to make it the largest school supply drive of 2012, and he encourages people who are interested in dropping off supplies at their dealership.

So far, Toyota has donated $5,000 to the Tools for Schools campaign and Frank Fletcher has matched that donation.

“If everything goes perfect, not a single Joplin student public or private, would have to spend dime,” Adams said. “If we can put a notebook in a kid’s hand, it’s one less notebook folks have to buy in August.”

The grand opening featured a ribbon-cutting, catered dinner, and entertainment by local band Coupe DeVille and Rock and Roll Hall of Fame legend Percy Sledge, best known for the song, “When a Man Loves a Woman.”

Sledge and Fletcher are friends, Adams said.

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