The good economy is driving good sales of new cars, trucks, and SUVs, which is why you see dealerships refurbishing across the country, according to Peffer, president, and chief operating officer of Balise Auto Group, a multi-state car dealership group with several locations in the auto dealership construction Greater Springfield area that focus on different brands. Balise has been renovating and expanding in the area, including a new Hyundai dealership on Columbus Avenue, the latest one on Columbus Avenue. Still, several new dealerships have been built over the past decade.
“More dealerships means more points to sell the products, although dealers find competition is pretty fierce as well.” Throughout the Pioneer Valley, Lia Auto Group, TommyCar Auto Group, Sarat Ford Lincoln, Marcotte Ford, and Fathers & Sons, to name a few, have built and renovated new stores auto dealership construction, as have the TommyCar Auto Group in Hampshire and Franklin counties. One of the reasons is that the auto industry is growing, said Eric Forish, president of Forish Construction in Westfield.
His father built auto dealerships in the 1940s, and Forish Construction is one of the region’s leading builders of auto dealerships. It’s the nature of the industry for dealers in our area to have multiple locations, brands, and facilities. It is often necessary to increase the size of the facility at each location as the activity increases.”
As a result, larger dealer groups have a greater advantage in sharing back-office resources and spreading out narrow margins over higher sales volumes. Fish explained that they want more inventory, so parking areas get larger. The parking lots are updated with LED lighting fixtures to be eco-friendly; LED lighting saves a lot of energy and is very energy efficient.
Then there’s the energy efficiency of the buildings. There are a variety of ways dealers keep current. Their products are new, and their facilities are new. “The technicians have tools that are way beyond what they used to have on the service side,” he explained. It’s all computerized in the repair area. They have state-of-the-art equipment. Even the lifts are radically different from what they were years ago.
A dedicated Audi showroom is currently being built by Fathers & Sons in West Springfield since Audi, like many other makers, wants dealers to move away from the old ‘auto mall’ facilities that sell many different nameplates under one roof so that a customer doesn’t drive away with the product of another make. The new facility’s design is also influenced by Audi, which calls it a ‘terminal’ concept with a glass and metal aesthetic.