Curry Honda's Howard Sackaroff says he keeps two bottles of Advil on his desk.
The dealership is in the midst of a $4.5 million renovation. And Sackaroff doesn't want business disrupted during construction -- least of all the finance and insurance office, where privacy is critical. Fortunately, Sackaroff planned ahead so he hasn't had to pop any pain relievers yet.
"We skirted around the issue of moving into trailers," says Sackaroff, general manager of Curry Honda and Curry Nissan in Chicopee, Mass., about an hour's drive west of Boston. "We chose to do it in stages where we can move various departments to various parts of the dealership while the construction goes on."
Many dealerships face massive renovation projects that stir up dust and dirt and involve noise from jackhammers and other tools. Amid that chaos, some dealers must find a comfortable, private and quiet place to take customers to conduct the highly sensitive business of financing a vehicle and pitching various insurance products.
Those dealers who have been through complex renovations recommend doing the construction in stages or after business hours if possible. And most important, they say, is to make sure the contractor understands the significance of the F&I office so that construction crews can work around it.
"Let's face it, the F&I office is your cash flow," says Darrell Neilander, finance manager at Blasius Chevrolet-Cadillac in Waterbury, Conn. "That's got to be protected by all means."