Monday morning was the ending of a 35-year era! The equipment was in place, Marianna Toyota president Jorge Garcia was on sight with his hard hat and a few tears in his eyes. City manager Jim Dean, employees, and the media were all present for the tear down to begin. Although plans were in the works to remodel the dealership prior to Hurricane Michael’s arrival, the process was put into action a little quicker following Michael’s departure.
Garcia said, “I am very emotional right now. The building has been here for a long time but it’s time to rebuild and move on, 850 Panhandle Strong.” Garcia said he had been in that location since 1983. When asked what the plans were, Garcia said, “We plan to rebuild but the sales and parts department are open, come see us.” Garcia said the rebuilding process will take most likely until the end of the summer. As far as changes, he says, “We are going to make it more friendly for the customer, easy to come in and out, and provide a better service and we will have business as usual.”
City manager Jim Dean was asked what impact the rebuilding of Marianna Toyota would have on the City of Marianna, “I’ve had a personal conversation with every single one of my city commissioners about this facility. Every single one of them are so proud and so pleased that Jorge made the decision to stay on the west end of the Marianna and did not even consider abandoning the west end. We are really proud of Marianna Toyota and we are really proud of Jorge and we thank him so much for his commitment to the city of Marianna.”
Jorge is iconic in Jackson County, “If you can’t come to us, we’ll drive it to you,” or “How many times did I say Marianna Toyota?”, and of course there is his passion to contribute to Backpack for Kids so no children go to bed hungry, along with many other worthy organizations.. Garcia came to America when he was 14 years old to live with his uncle Dr. Cabrera in New Jersey. It was shortly after that when Cabrera relocated to Marianna and Jorge made the move also, graduating from Marianna High School.
Garcia began his career at Marianna Toyota as a salesman in 1983. By the late 1980s, then owner Quen Rahal knew he had something special in Jorge and partnered with him. Jorge eventually became the sole owner of Marianna Toyota.
Garcia feels strongly that “this is home”. He is a frequent speaker at the installation of U. S. citizens and openly and frequently says, “America is the land of opportunity.”
Jorge is married to June Garcia and they have four children and five grandchildren that are most assuredly the apple of his eye.