Reno GMC undertakes extensive remodel

Reno Buick GMC Cadillac General Manager Ken Alexander in the dealership's old showroom, which is being gutted and renovated.

Reno Buick GMC Cadillac General Manager Ken Alexander in the dealership's old showroom, which is being gutted and renovated.

Reno Buick GMC Cadillac’s $1.5 million remodel of its showroom and office space is more than just keeping up with other nearby dealerships that have undergone similar renovations in recent years.

The dealership broke ground last month on an extensive upgrade that’s expected to be completed in late June or early July. The renovation is part of a national incentive by General Motors to upgrade the look of dealerships across the country, but it also was long overdue, General Manager Ken Alexander says.

“If you look at Kietzke Lane, and the transformation up and down the street, we are at the center of the community. It is definitely the car destination, and we are happy to be here.”

Many dealerships on the Kietzke Lane have undergone similar transformations, including Champion Chevrolet, Nissan of Reno across the street, and the complete rebuild of the Reno Toyota dealership. Reno Buick GMC Cadillac, which took over the Winkel Pontiac GMC Hummer facility a few years ago, is working out of the old Hummer building while its remodel is in the works.

The original footprint of the old GMC building will stay the same, but a small covered awning will be added to the front of the structure. Exterior fascia and color scheme will change, and all customer touch points inside the building will be renovated.

Alexander says the company embraces the GMC upgrade initiative — as do the sales and support staff. Studies show that dealerships that have undergone extensive aesthetic transformations actually sell more cars, he says.

“The end result is that (the dealerhips) sell more cars because the employees are happier. It doesn’t actually bring more traffic to the store because it is this shiny new facility; it is the attitude that changes within that drives the business. We anticipate an increase in sales and in service as well.”

Doreen Hicks, director of marketing, says that despite having to work in cramped quarters for the next several months, employees are excited about moving into a renovated facility. Sales, service and administrate staff are sharing quarters in the Hummer building, while the parts department is still operating out of makeshift quarters in the old building.

Logistics has proven to be the biggest challenge for dealership staff and general contractor Dennis Banks Construction.

“The biggest issue we have is just room — it is a little tight right now when it comes to customer parking and vehicle display,” Alexander says. “We have staff on site directing traffic and trying to make sure we have open parking spaces to accommodate customers.”


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