There is no surer auger of the future than the big increases in sales that all car manufacturers in America are seeing. So far year to date sales of light vehicles in the U.S. are up 8.1 percent.
Locally, Thompson Toyota is so confident of the future that it has gutted its entire showroom and service area to completely remodel it and add 1,400 square feet. The big remodeling project will save the dealership money in the long run as it switches to LED lights that it says will be 40 percent more efficient.
The real aim is twofold: No. 1 is to improve the customer experience, and No. 2 is to remake the facade as part of a Toyota national branding look.
The interior amenities will be considerable. They will include Wi-Fi, a fireplace with a TV, plus quiet space for service customers who want to read or work on their laptops. Service customers will not just have coffee and sodas available, but also can make mochas and lattes. Chips, fresh fruits, bagels and a toaster round out the snacks for those waiting to have their vehicle serviced or conclude a deal on a new or used vehicle.
“The idea is to create an amazing experience for the customers and associates who work here. The materials are more comfortable, warmer and offer a welcoming experience for customers, kind of like when you walk into your house. Some dealerships are big places and feel cold. We want to feel open, but be a happy, cozy place,” said Jeff Thompson, executive general manager of the company.
They sound like good plans that will keep Thompson’s Toyota No. 1 in customer satisfaction.
Thompson’s is the latest to show confidence in the future. This year also saw Tractor Supply open in the building that formerly housed this newspaper’s offices. The Mountain Democrat’s confidence in the local business outlook is the reason we gutted the old Blockbuster building and remodeled it into an “open but happy, cozy place.”
More new businesses call us each month to have their story told. The next big new business will be Kohl’s that is going in between the Payless shoe store and SaveMart in Prospector Plaza.
Thompson Toyota plans to have its remodeled showroom and service center open in mid-January. And 2014 is looking pretty good.