With an established Florida presence, automotive product retailer AutoZone plans a brand-new distribution facility in Ocala by 2018 — creating 240 jobs and directing $50 million into the local economy, Gov. Rick Scott announced recently.
“AutoZone could have chosen to invest in many other locations, but they ultimately chose Florida as the best place to invest their growing company,” Gov. Scott said.
With construction set to begin in early 2017, the new facility will be AutoZone’s 10th U.S. distribution center. AutoZone offers products for vehicles ranging from cars and sport utility vehicles to vans and light trucks, including new and remanufactured automotive parts, maintenance items, accessories, and other products.
“We are grateful to the Ocala/Marion County Chamber and Economic Partnership, the Ocala City Council, the Marion County Board of Commissioners and Cone Distributing for their warm welcome and support for our growing business,” Rod Halsell, supply chain SVP for AutoZone, said. “We look forward to being an active member of the Ocala and Marion County community in the coming years.”
Numerous local civic leaders expressed enthusiasm for the project, including Crystal Sircy, COO and EVP of Enterprise Florida Inc. (EFI); Cissy Proctor, executive director of the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity; Kathy Bryant, chair for the Marion County Board of County Commissioners; Jim Hilty, Ocala City Council president, and Ken Ausley, chairman of the CEP Board.
“Florida continues to attract international leaders in the logistics and distribution industry, and we’re thrilled to add the AutoZone name to that list,” EFI’s Sircy said. “AutoZone will be able to capitalize on Florida’s expansive infrastructure, and we look forward to watching their new facility take shape in Ocala.”
The Ocala site will service Puerto Rico as well as Florida. AutoZone opened its first Florida store in 1984.