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Chevy: 700 dealers will meet new store standards

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Chevy: 700 dealers will meet new store standards

Upgrades aim to give buildings a uniform look

David Barkholz

Automotive News -- September 27, 2010 - 12:01 am ET

FENTON, Mich. -- By year end, Chevrolet expects to have 700 dealers renovating their stores to bring an upgraded, uniform look to the buildings, said Colleen Haesler, Chevrolet's director of sales operations.

An additional 300 dealers out of about 1,200 who sell General Motors Co.'s three other brands will be doing likewise. In August, then-CEO Ed Whitacre called it the largest facilities improvement program in the automaker's history.

Haesler said enrollment in the renovations program has accelerated since GM finished its arbitrations with rejected dealers this summer. Some 564 of Chevrolet's approximately 3,300 U.S. dealers had signed on as of last week, she said.

The motivation is to showcase Chevrolet's expanding product lineup in the best light, Haesler said.

Dealers have to pay for the upgrades themselves. But GM has designated a consultant that dealers can hire for about $15,000 to assist with meeting the facilities guidelines, Haesler said.

Richard Canever, president of Vic Canever Chevrolet in Fenton, just south of Flint, said dealers need to attain certain facilities standards, along with other operational criteria, to qualify for GM incentive payments, under what the automaker calls its Essential Brand Elements program.

Canever's store qualified for the incentives after completing major renovations in the past two years, he said.

Haesler said the Fenton store now is a prototype for the design characteristics Chevrolet wants.

She said those characteristics include a Chevrolet blue metal entranceway to the showroom, factory-approved exterior signs, consistent accent colors in the showroom, a wall featuring accessories and a greeter's desk.

Read more: http://www.autonews.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20100927/RETAIL03/309279952/1422#ixzz10jeGbyIS

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