As part of an ongoing green strategy, LaFontaine Chrysler Dodge Jeep Ram of Fenton, MI, has completed the installation of the largest array of solar panels for a Midwest car dealership.
The 428 panels – installed through a partnership with POWERHOME – produce nearly 180,000 kWH annually. That’s expected to reduce the dealership’s electricity use by 60% in its first year.
“My mom, Maureen LaFontaine, was a true pioneer in terms of our dealerships focusing on green initiatives,” says Ryan LaFontaine, LaFontaine Automotive Group’s chief operating officer. His mother died last year.
“Being better stewards of the environment makes great business sense,” he says. Our sustainability efforts have had a positive impact on our bottom line, our workplace culture and our customers.”
The nearly 38,000 sq.-ft. (3,530 sq-m) Fenton facility is the second CDJR dealership in the nation and the first in Michigan to incorporate FCA’s new design and technology.
“We applaud the green investments undertaken by the LaFontaine family,” says Reid Bigland, head of FCA’s U.S. sales. "Their efforts are an example for the entire automotive industry.”
A recent McKinsey paper says dealers need drastic business-model changes in the approaching age of autonomous, electric and shared vehicles. These changes include reducing operating costs through improved efficiency.
“The fact that LaFontaine will own a majority of their power at their Fenton location says a lot about how much they believe in the value of solar,” says POWERHOME CEO Jayson Waller.