Business & Real Estate

Mitsubishi dealership to open on Fulton Avenue

Fulton Avenue’s auto row, which a generation ago was considered by some to be an outdated, decaying relic of vehicle-selling days gone by, is about to get another new car dealership.

Next Friday, a new Mitsubishi dealership will open at 2820 Fulton Ave. in Sacramento.

Lutes Mitsubishi will have a “soft” opening at the site Sacramento Kia abandoned in December. Before that, the site was the longtime home of Mel Rapton Honda, which moved into a new facility along the Capital City Freeway in early 2009.

The dealership will be run by Todd Lutes, president of, an Internet-based, used car-selling operation that started in Gold River but moved to 1733 Fulton Ave. in 2012.

Lutes Mitsubishi is identified as an company, and the eMotors operation will move into the 2820 Fulton Ave. site, with various used vehicles available for purchase.

Lutes Mitsubishi is on nearly 4 acres and has about 45,000 square feet of leased facilities for sales, offices, a showroom, parts and service.

Todd Lutes said improvements have already been done at the site, and more will be made in the coming weeks. “We want it to be a comfortable place, a boutique setting,” he said.

Fulton Avenue’s auto-selling row saw a downturn amid the proliferation of Sacramento-area auto malls more than 20 years ago. Formerly shiny car stores up and down Fulton were left behind as local dealers pulled up stakes and congregated at auto malls in Roseville, Folsom and Elk Grove.

In recent years, however, Fulton has experienced a revival as the Sacramento-based Niello Co. set up shop on the street with high-end stores selling Jaguar, Maserati, BMW and Land Rover models. Last year, Kuni Chevrolet Cadillac christened an opulent new Sacramento showroom and service facility at Fulton and El Camino avenues.

“Fulton Avenue has become a great car destination again, so hopefully we’re just going to add to that,” Lutes said Friday.

Lutes said he’s optimistic about the Mitsubishi brand, noting that the Japanese automaker “has six new models coming out in the next two years.”

The dealership’s move and leasing arrangements were coordinated by Mike Luca, vice president with the Sacramento office of commercial real estate services firm CBRE.

Call The Bee’s Mark Glover, (916) 321-1184.