Champion remodeling part of GM effort to standardize brand |

Champion remodeling part of GM effort to standardize brand

NNBW staff

Jack Stanko, owner of Champion Chevrolet on Kietzke Lane, is providing customers with a shiny new Christmas present but this one is made from wood and stone, not steel.

Champion Chevrolet expects to complete much of its multi-million dollar renovation by Christmas day, Stanko says. The project, which began in August, is part of General Motor’s Essential Brand Elements project, which seeks to upgrade and standardize Chevrolet and GM dealerships throughout the country. Stanko says about 600 of more than 3,000 dealerships already have undergone renovations.

Changes to Champion Chevrolet include expanding the current showroom to hold up to 15 cars, or one of every model sold at Champion Chevrolet. Currently, the showroom holds just four cars. The facility also will have a new heated delivery area, as well as expanded sales offices and a renovated service department and waiting room complete with wireless Internet, flat screen televisions and other amenities.

“It is really gonna be nice when it’s done,” Stanko says. “It will be state of the art.”

The dealership last was remodeled in 1999, a project that upgraded the fascia fronting Kietzke Lane. The goal of the current remodel, Stanko says, is to upgrade the entire facility to make it more attractive and customer-friendly.

“It will just make it an enjoyable place to shop and come into,” he says.

Q&D Construction is the general contractor on the project, which was designed by Don Mackay Architect in coordination with General Motors and the San Francisco-based architecture firm Gensler, which picked the interior treatments.

Stanko’s sales staff currently is working out of two mobile trailers in the parking lot of the dealership. Their offices are expected to be completed in late January. Stanko says the challenges for his employees included adjusting to the new working space and flurry of construction activity, as well as bringing computer systems and phone lines into the mobile offices.

“You always have things you don’t expect,” he says. “We are fortunate to have a good computer company and phone system, and Q&D is really on the ball. It took a while for employees to get comfortable with everything and get up and going, but now they are used to how it’s working and it is working quite well.”