In 2012, dealer Rick Germain set out to do the near impossible.
He wanted to keep operating out of his Ford dealership, without disruption to the business, even as builders demolished it and built a new Ford store adjacent to it.
In essence, he rejected the trailers and tents that dealerships typically use during major construction projects to distance their operations from the noise and dust.
"In the past, we've put people in trailers during construction and tried to write service and sell cars in trailers," said Germain, vice president of Germain Automotive Partnership, in Dublin, Ohio, near Columbus. "That does not provide a good experience for anyone."
It took Germain, his contractor and his architect six months to devise a plan that would allow him to do what he wanted. It would be a long and costly project, but Germain was willing to go slowly.
"We decided to do it in different phases to provide the least disruption for our customers," said Germain. "It created a lot more work for everybody to keep cars displayed, keep them cleaned and make it as convenient for customers as we could."
There were problems: Power went out at one point, and an accidental fire trashed some of Germain's plans. But when the project finished in early 2014, he was able to say that operationally and financially, the dealership had sailed through the construction work unscathed.