Celebrating 72 Years in the Valley, Jessup Auto Plaza Looks Forward

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Jessup Auto Plaza celebrates 72 years of business in the Coachella Valley. Founded in 1938, it's now under the 3rd generation of Jessup family leadership. Today the business operates Chevrolet, Cadillac, Buick, GMC, and SAAB franchises and is the only factory-certified/dealer-operated body shop in the valley. Honors include Business of the Year (Cathedral City Chamber) and Dan Jessup’s recent election as Palm Springs Chamber President.

Cathedral City's Jessup Auto Plaza Celebrates 72 Years Of Business in the Valley

Many things have changed over the decades, but the loyalty of our customer base and the dedication from our talented employees are constant. Every day, we honor Grandpa by staying true to his business plan of treating customers and employees as family.

The month of July is an exciting time for many Americans. But at Jessup Auto Plaza, it holds another special significance. This July marks the 72nd anniversary of the auto dealership, one of the oldest and largest in the desert.

“Three generations over 72 years is a family business success story that could only have been accomplished by so many of us working so hard toward mutual goals. I am very proud to be a part of our many accomplishments,” said Andy Jessup, Jr., General Manager and grandson of the company’s founder.

“Many things have changed over the decades, but the loyalty of our customer base and the dedication from our talented employees remains constant. Every day, we honor Grandpa by staying true to his business plan of treating both customers and employees as our family,” he said.

History of Jessup Auto Plaza

In 1938, the same year the City of Palm Springs incorporated, then-called Plaza Motors opened its doors for business as a Cadillac, GMC, and Oldsmobile dealership in La Plaza, the desert’s premier shopping center at the time.

As the City of Palm Springs grew, so did the dealership. In 1954, Plaza Motors moved to North Indian Canyon Drive, where it would stay for 47 years, adding services and a new Pontiac/Buick franchise along the way. By 1996, it was time for a new space. The Jessup family set their eye on a 13-acre property at 111 Highway 11 in Cathedral City, at the heart of the Coachella Valley.

General Sales Manger Dan Jessup, the founder’s grandson, remembers the day in 2001 when the big move finally came: “Our move over the 4th of July proved unique. Hard working and dependable employees sacrificed time with their families to move equipment, inventory, automotive parts and supplies down Highway 111 in the heat to our new home in the Cathedral City Auto Center,” he said.

Just three days later, on July 7, 2001, the dealership’s 80,000 square foot state-of-the-art campus opened for business as a Cathedral City GM dealership. Newly christened Jessup Auto Plaza, it incorporated the family name yet maintained a piece of the La Plaza/Plaza Motors history.

“I remember the buzz of excitement and anticipation,” recalls Dan Jessup. “Everyone grasped the enormity of this relocation. When we opened that Monday the 7th, also my birthday, I celebrated a special birthday along with the company’s third location and grandest facility in its 72 years.”

Present Day Significance

Today, the Coachella Valley GM dealership continues to thrive under the leadership of its third generation of Jessups, who are involved in both the family business and the community at large:

  •     In 2003, Jessup Auto Plaza was named Business of the Year by the Cathedral City Chamber of Commerce at its prestigious ORION Awards.
  •     In 2006, the company welcomed the SAAB franchise and became one of the first HUMMER dealerships in Southern California.
  •     In 2008, Chevrolet was added, fulfilling a longtime family dream.
  •     Just last month, Dan Jessup was named President of the Palm Springs Chamber of Commerce.
  •     Jessup Auto Plaza operates the only GM-certified, factory-approved body shop in the valley.
  •     Jessup Auto Plaza is an Automobile Club of America Preferred Service Center, a GMAC Platinum Dealer, and a multi-year winner of both the Cadillac Master Dealer award and the GM Mark of Excellent Sales Award for Pontiac-GMC-HUMMER-Cadillac.
  •     Andy Jessup, Sr. sits on the United Way of the Desert board, the Boy Scouts of Inland Empire board, and the Riverside County Community Hospital Foundation board.
  •     Andy Jessup, Jr.is President of the Cathedral City Auto Center Dealer Association and sits on the boards of both the United Way of the Desert and the Cathedral City Chamber of Commerce

About Jessup Auto Plaza

Jessup Auto Plaza provides automotive sales, service, and parts to communities throughout the Coachella Valley. Located in Cathedral City, Jessup Auto Plaza was founded in 1938 and sells new and used vehicles from Chevrolet, Buick, Cadillac, GMC, and SAAB.


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Kelly Halbeisen, Marketing Director
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