CarMax plans to hire 1,200 new workers

By Andy Jenks - bio | email

GOOCHLAND, VA (WWBT) - A locally based car retailer appears to be maximizing its payroll, and that's good news for people looking for work.

Goochland-based CarMax announced it will hire 1,200 new people to help grow its position as the nation's largest used-car retailer.

If you're good in the garage, or, smooth, in the showroom…CarMax would like to talk with you.

"We're looking for somebody with, one, high integrity. Number two, we're a very customer service focused business. And number three, we're looking for people that have good problem solving skills," said Chris Updike, senior buyer for CarMax.

Even in a sluggish economy, the FORTUNE 500 company is hiring 1,200 new people including sales and service, full- and part-time, starting immediately.

"What we're really looking to do is kind of get ahead of the curve on our really busy Spring and Summer months," Updike said.

But the jobs aren't entirely local. Of the 1,200 new positions, only 14 are open in the Richmond area.

"I would say in the local economy it puts a bit of a damper on it, but from the broad perspective, the economy, 1200 new jobs is still a pretty big number," said Professor Tom Arnold of the Robins School of Business at the University of Richmond.

In at least one way, the uncertain economy appears to be a good sign for the homegrown company.

"People may need relatively less expensive cars, and that's gonna mean used cars," Arnold said.

CarMax operates 103 superstores in 49 markets with plans to open five more stores in 2011. An ambitious agenda for this well-known Richmond name.

"Across the country though, we're a little bit less known. We're looking to open up stores and get people really excited about our brand," Updike said.

CarMax already has 14,000 employees nationwide. The company wouldn't specify the salary range for the new jobs.

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