TO THE EDITOR:
I take exception to Keith Crain’s view of facility requirements and the current appearance of many dealerships (“Just when it seemed to be over,” June 12).
I worked in our industry for over 50 years, and brand identification with a specified facility image has been around for at least that long, not just over the past few years, as stated in his first sentence. In the 1970s, Volkswagen gave the dealer a choice of three buildings; in the ’80s, I was working for BMW of North America when its first major facility image program was rolled out. I recently retired from the Acura Division of American Honda after 20 years and have seen time and time again how a dealer’s balance sheet improves when a remodel or a ground-up facility is built. Manufacturers also share the costs as an incentive for the dealer to remodel.
For the past eight years, I had the privilege of visiting Acura dealerships around the country — a daily routine for the past three. I estimate 60 percent of dealerships, Acura and other brands, are in need of remodeling. I think there is a definite correlation between a fresh, image-compliant facility and client/employee satisfaction, which results in measurable higher performance — not just in sales, but in service and parts as well.
GARY NOLL, Dallas. The writer worked as assistant zone manager, client experience, for Acura.