HARLINGEN — After four generations of operating a business in a community, roots run deep.
And the foundation Elliff Motors has built is about to go even deeper with the addition of a new, $800,000 facility the family is building to sell and service a full line of Kubota tractors and construction equipment.
The new facility consisting of showrooms, warehouse, offices and service areas will be built along I-69E/S. Expressway 83 on the frontage road between East New Hampshire Street and South Ed Carey Drive. Most folks will recognize it as the site of the old Harlingen flea market.
“We’re opening a full-line Kubota dealership, everything from residential to commercial to ag,” said Collin Stewart, a member of the family at Elliff and a manager at the dealership’s current location at 1307 W. Harrison Ave.
The dealership at the West Harrison location looks a bit cramped between its auto sales section, trailers and off-road vehicles, as well as the growing numbers of orange Kubota tractors on the lot.
The Kubota component, currently limited at the location due to parking and display space, will be expanded at the new location.
“Everything from zero-turn mowers, which homeowners could purchase, to the next step up which would be their smaller tractor line, say for somebody who’s got two or three acres, but really anybody from a homeowner to a farmer, they make equipment for all ranges,” Stewart said.
Stewart said the new facility, Elliff Kubota, will have showrooms, a service center, sales offices and a parts department.
Stewart said the Kubota line now available at the dealership will not only expand in numbers, but it’s going to expand in size, too, by selling bigger equipment for bigger jobs in construction and agriculture.
“On the construction side, they sell mini-skid steer loaders and a mini-excavator, and they’re very, very popular,” Stewart said. “Their ag tractors, which are the new M6, M7 and M8, are the larger ag tractors that they sell.”
The Harlingen architecture firm Megamorphosis Inc. is handling the design work for the new facility and Stewart said the family is in the process of seeking construction quotes. Stewart hopes to be in the new location and selling the Kubota line there by August 2020.
“It’s a big investment but we’ve already had a great response from the community,” he said. “We’re dealer-trading in units, bringing in units, from all over. It is a big investment but we know that there’s a demand for this line in Cameron County and in this area. So that’s been proven just in the last 30 days, really. The interest has been overwhelming with people calling and stopping by. It’s exciting.”
Stewart said the West Harrison location will continue to operate as a sales lot with showrooms, service and sales offices for its non-Kubota product lines.
Stewart’s great-grandfather started Elliff Motors in 1944 and the family still supervises the operation. Until April Stewart worked as a manager at the firm’s Pharr location but has relocated to Harlingen.
“I’ll eventually be moving out to the Kubota store but we’ll continue to sell used cars, the full trailer line that we sell, anything from utility to cargo to horse and livestock trailers, and also our Polaris off-road line” at the West Harrison location, he said. “Nothing about that will change.
“All the Kubota line will move out to the highway,” he added.