The showroom is the crown jewel of a car dealership. It's the customers' first impression of the business. More importantly, it’s where they really start to envision themselves driving away in their dream vehicle.
Create a warm, welcoming atmosphere showroom that inspires those types of aspirational visions. Keep showrooms modern and in sync with the evolving identity of car manufacturers.
We helped the iconic Ferrari Lake Forest, outside of Chicago, renovate 16,000 sq. ft. (1,481 sq. m) within their massive 70,000 sq.-ft. (6,503 sq.-m) )dealership. We worked within a four-month window to renovate one of the largest high-performance auto dealerships in the country. They stayed fully operational during construction.
Here are a few important things to keep in mind as you’re remodeling your dealership showroom.
Hire an experienced construction firm
A top priority is getting the right professionals to coordinate all aspects of the process. You want a committed and experienced team.
They should clearly understand your vision for the new showroom, work closely with dealer management and the architecture team and take into account the day to day operations and goals of the project.
Talk through the details with your team
Legendary UCLA college basketball coach John Wooden once said, “It’s the little details that are vital. Little things make big things happen.” This rings true when you’re trying to run your dealership during a renovation. The construction firm should bring details to you, so you are clear on what they’re doing every step of the way and how it will impact your business.
Renovation partners should have the communications skills to walk you through their plans during all stages of construction, from pre-construction planning, to inventory- and space-management during the process, to post-project cleanup.
Transparency and open lines of communication are key in assuring business operations run uninterrupted while improvements are implemented.
Consider multiple phases of renovation
Efficiency is key during any construction project, and the right team will be able to complete the job in a timely manner.
However, if you’re trying to get a renovation project finished before a big sales push, consider doing the remodeling in phases.
For instance, you can prioritize projects. That allows renovation partners to salvage some existing systems and features and get those taken care of first. Then, after your busy sales season, bring the team back to wrap up some of the higher-effort phases of the remodel.
Remember what happens beyond the construction area
Since you’re still operational during construction, you have an image to maintain with your customers. A good project manager is aware of that.
It's a given that you’ll have to adapt during construction. You can’t keep everything exactly as it was prior to the remodeling. Customers understand things will be a bit out of place for a time. But they’ll be doubly impressed if you can maintain a clean, organized, consistent brand image even in the midst of a construction project.
Gary Dayan is the founder and project manager of Xced Design Build, a Chicago-based team of builders and interior designers