Dealer Kirk Carroll wants General Motors dealers to like his Facebook page.
Specifically, he wants a lot of GM dealers to click "like" on a reserved Facebook page he created called: "GM Facility Image."
Carroll owns Carroll's Auto Sales in Presque Isle, Maine, which sells about 200 new Chevys, Buicks and GMCs a year.
Yet, like other GM dealers, he expects to spend a hefty sum on facility changes as part of GM's Essential Brand Elements program. He hopes dealers will use the "GM Facility Image" Facebook page to share cost-cutting tips.
So far, many of the dealers in Maine have been exchanging information on their own, he said. "If we can do it in Maine by word of mouth, think of what a Facebook page can do for dealers across the country."
GM gave dealers a list of vendors handpicked by Gensler, its architectural firm. They're very "high end," Carroll said. But GM will let dealers use different, less expensive vendors if Gensler approves.
Asked whether dealers should use social media to share cheaper vendor finds, a GM spokesman endorsed it.
"If dealers want to share learnings with each other as to how they're undergoing their projects, that's fine with us," said spokesman Tom Henderson. "There are certain materials and specifications they need to meet, but if they have something they want to submit they can do so. Gensler will approve it if it's appropriate."
GM offers incentives to help dealers defray the cost of store makeovers and improve the customer experience. Quarterly payments are based on sales volumes and can total $40,000 to $100,000 a year for smaller dealers and $500,000 or more for big stores, dealers say.
That's why Carroll is seeking help from his bigger-store brethren.
He also hopes vendors and suppliers will join the Facebook page and share ideas.
After all, Carroll said: "A guy who sells 1,000 new cars a year is going to get five times more money on this program than the little guy. We should all help each other."