CBJ: ND3: Colonial Auto and Cobb Tech expand, Oaktree holding conference - The Daily Progress: Cbj

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CBJ: ND3: Colonial Auto and Cobb Tech expand, Oaktree holding conference

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Posted: Monday, November 25, 2013 6:00 am

Colonial Auto is building a new Charlottesville-area home for one of Japan’s marquee brands.

Work is underway on a 28,000-square-foot building that will house a Nissan showroom, parts department and service bays.

A 20-year-old building that was about one-third the size of the new building was demolished to make way for the project, which is at 100 Myers Drive, off U.S. 29 in northern Albemarle County. The project is expected to be completed in late May.

Liza Borches, president and CEO of Carter Myers Automotive, said the move is in response to Nissan’s brand growth and heightened consumer awareness.

“Consumers around the country are starting to put Nissan on their shopping list when they wouldn’t have before,” Borches said.

In addition to more space, the new building will have LED lighting throughout, a parking deck and electric vehicle charging stations that are accessible to the public. Upon completion, the company expects to employ about 25 full-time workers at the facility.

“Nissan is a tier one import. They are right up there behind Honda and Toyota, and worldwide they are as competitive as those two nameplates,” said Pete Borches, president of Carter Myers Automotive Properties.

As Japan’s second-largest automaker, Nissan employs about 236,000 people worldwide. The company sold more than 4.9 million vehicles and generated revenue of about $116 billion in the 2012 fiscal year.

“Nissan has really become very strong, not only as a North American brand but as a global brand. They’ve shown significant growth in the last several years and a lot of investment in their product,” said Liza Borches.

Cobb Technologies

Across town, Cobb Technologies recently opened a new office on Pantops. “We want to continue to grow in the Charlottesville marketplace,” said David DiGiacomo, the company’s vice president of business development.

Cobb Technologies has three focus areas: business imaging, through technologies such as copiers, printers and fax machines; managed network services for small to medium-sized companies; and document management.

Cobb has about 130 employees.

DiGiacomo said paper isn’t poised to disappear from the modern office anytime soon.

“In general, in the U.S., black and white imaging is going down just like it is for the commercial printer, but color [printing] is not going down. People are printing more in color than they ever have. … There’s still a tremendous need for the piece of paper,” he said. That’s where we come in for document management — knowing what to print and what not to print.”

Investing Conference

Unfortunately, only the government can print more money when they need it. The rest of us are left only with the options of spending less, saving more or investing.

In this volatile market, a moderate approach to investing is the best approach, according to Howard Marks, chairman of Oaktree Capital Management.

“No asset is so high in quality it can’t be overpriced and no asset is so low in quality it can’t be underpriced,” said Marks, who was a featured speaker at the University of Virginia’s recent Investing Conference.

The sixth annual event, which spanned two days, attracted experts on emerging markets, energy, the U.S. economy and technology to UVa’s Darden Graduate School of Business Administration. The Darden Center for Asset Management hosted the event.

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