Showcase: Richfield Bloomington Honda
SHOP STATS: Richfield Bloomington Honda Location: Richfield, Minn. Operator: Jeff Wood Average Monthly Car Count: 4,200 Staff Size: 96 in Parts and Service Shop Size: 150,000 sq ft
1. Using Vertical Space
Richfield Bloomington Honda, based in Richfield, Minn., has expanded its building vertically due to its “landlocked” location. While the cost of creating three stories and 150,000 square feet of space increased, the advantage to building up rather than out is to use space available for the dealership. Surrounded by large shopping centers like Best Buy, Home Depot and the Mall of America, the dealership chose to go high into the sky.
2. Displaying Elite Cars
A customer’s first view of the dealership is a two-story glass display case, housing 10 cars. For people on the street or people driving along the highway, the dealership added individual lifts for each car. Gordy Ecklund, parts director, calls the case his “jewelry box.”
3. Combating Harsh Weather Conditions
Despite notoriously cold Minnesota temperatures, the dealership comes equipped with a car wash. This car wash is a first stop for every car that comes for service, unless the temperature is below negative digits, and allows the vehicles to move from the service center to the parts department without ever having to go outside.
4. Tire Carousel
Within the parts department, 600 tires rotate around a tire carousel. The carousel takes up vertical space in the storage area and allows employees to find a tire by pressing a button to rotate the tires from front to back. The carousel is two stories high. Vehicle belts hang off hooks along the outside of the carousel to further maximize space.
5. Improving Image
For sales, when all vehicle repairs are finished, cars will enter a photobooth. The photobooth is located on the second floor of the dealership. The interior of the booth is all white and the car spins on a round table in order for the car to face the same direction in each photo. The white background eliminates any shop clutter that might distract the customer from viewing the qualities of the car, says Ecklund.
6. Space to Wait
For customers who want to get away from chatter, the waiting room offers an enclosed-glass quiet area. In the smaller waiting area, customers can sit back and relax on black leather chairs. Pod-like chairs provide privacy for customers to make phone calls or do work.