LONG BEACH, Calif. -

Sonic Automotive and EchoPark Automotive chief executive officer David Smith says the company’s EchoPark business is experiencing rapid nationwide growth, and he described that as “a great testament to our model and the value of exceeding customer expectations.”

The company announced the latest example of that growth on Dec. 16 with the grand opening of its ninth EchoPark Automotive specialty pre-owned vehicle store in Long Beach, Calif.

“Our outstanding associates and groundbreaking mix of both online and in-store guest experience continue to define what a pre-owned car buying experience should be, often drawing out-of-state car buyers looking for the best possible deal,” Smith said in a news release.

He continued, “By truly understanding our guests’ needs and creating a welcoming environment, we can pair customers with the right vehicles at below-market prices. We’re looking forward to bringing our unique customer experience to the Southern California market.”

“Entering the Southern California market and bringing California car buyers the open and relaxed guest experience that has made us successful, along with our ultra-competitive low pricing, is very important to our mission and vision as a business,” said Sonic and EchoPark president Jeff Dyke.

He added, “EchoPark Long Beach will serve a robust automotive market, and as always, deliver on our brand promise of value, honesty and transparency.”

The company said that as a core principle for EchoPark Automotive, it makes a strong commitment to the communities where its stores are located. The EchoPark team has partnered with the Long Beach Rescue Mission to prepare and serve hot meals to the homeless in the Long Beach area.

Through the month of December, EchoPark placed a vehicle at the new location and the team and the local community were able to fill it with items such clean socks, bedding and canned goods. The company will then donate the items to the mission as part of its drive to “Fill Our Car, Fill A Need.”

“Our goal as a business is more than just selling cars, it’s becoming part of the Long Beach community,” general manager Mike Bell said.

Bell added, “We look forward to providing an outstanding customer experience to our new guests and also understand the key to being a responsible local business requires an investment in the people and community in which we are now a part of.”

The new dealership, located at 2998 Cherry Ave., Signal Hill, Calif. will employ approximately 65 people.