CASA GRANDE — A Mitsubishi Motors auto dealership will soon be the first import franchise in Casa Grande in many years, Premier Auto Center announced Wednesday morning.

The franchise will open as early as October at Premier Auto Center’s Pinal Avenue location and will be called Premier Mitsubishi. Premier will remodel the existing dealership as part of the change.

“We are honored to be selected as the newest Mitsubishi franchise!” principal owner Scott Lehman said in a press release. “This is an amazing opportunity to bring my hometown of Casa Grande its only import dealership.”

Premier Auto owns used car dealerships in Tucson and El Paso, Texas, in addition to its store at 1648 N. Pinal Ave. “Premier Auto Management would like to thank the local elected officials of Casa Grande, including Mayor Craig McFarland, for making this franchise possible,” the press release said.

The franchise will be the only new import dealership in Casa Grande and the first to operate since a Volkswagen franchise closed in the early 1980s.

“It’s truly an exciting time in the growth of our company to be awarded this amazing brand and franchise,” Lehman said. “It’s important for me to secure the opportunity to service the Casa Grande community by offering them another choice to ‘buy local.’”

The company started 12 years ago with Lehman and four employees. He said during an open house at the dealership Wednesday morning, where he signed the dealership agreement, that Mitsubishi’s product lines are ideal for Pinal County, featuring 10-year, 100,000-mile guarantees and economical prices.

“We’re just going to be able to help more people,” he said.