One of Montross’s most visible landmarks is getting a facelift.
For the past few weeks, Northern Neck Chevrolet has been undergoing renovations for the first time since the notable structure opened in 1976.
The estimated completion date of the renovation project is the first week of November, according to Business Manager Rachael Schultz.
Schultz and Dealer Principal Tom Collins said the facility would not only take on an upgraded appearance, but that it would offer more streamlined and user friendly services.
“It hasn’t changed much over the years, and…it’s going to look a whole lot better, but really the most important thing is that it’s going to function a lot better for the customers,” said Collins.
“The whole flow of the dealership is going to work a lot better than it did…from coming in and buying and then financing your car to buying accessories for your car…it’s all in the right order,” Schultz shared. “Everything’s going to be defined and have its place.”
Collins and Schultz noted that there will be canopies to cover both the drive-thru service lane and the new car delivery area, as well as a covered walkway spanning the front of the building to keep customers out of harsh weather.
Schultz added that the revamped facility will include data stations for customers to access hi-speed internet access and work on their laptops in the showroom.
Other significant improvements that are to come with the reopening of the building include a GM accessory board, a new and improved waiting area, technology upgrades, a coffee station, vending machines and new bathrooms.
Collins called the renovations project a long-term investment in the community.
“We’re looking at it from the standpoint that we’re not going anywhere,” said Collins, adding that his business strives to support the community with emphasis on youth groups in Westmoreland County ranging from Boy Scouts to school-age sports teams.
In addition to Collins’ comments, Schultz said Northern Neck Chevy has contributed to The Haven, Little League, social services, fire departments, local marathons, marching bands and the YMCA.
The dealership’s efforts in giving back to the community have included raising money for Wounded Warriors, collecting coats, holding food drives and anything else to “try to keep the kids in the community,” according to Collins.
Although construction continues on the principal building for the next three months, Collins and Schultz emphasized that the newly redesigned facility would serve as a strong source of communnity pride.
In commenting on the anticipated improvements, Certified Technology Expert and Sales Consultant Chad Rice said he is looking forward to better customer relations and technological innovations.
“This is all really for the customer,” said Rice. “You give the customer a professional and more enjoyable experience. Hopefully they’ll feel relaxed in this building.”
Rice added that the new technology to be included in the changes would make Northern Neck Chevrolet more efficient and timely in helping its clientele.
Sales Consultant Chuck Hayden said he was most excited about the transparent sales process, which with the technological innovations would become more current and up-to-date.
“Instead of asking customers, ‘We’ll have to get back to you,’ we’d be able to say, ‘Let’s look it up together,’ and we will have the access and the ability to do that,” said Hayden.
Sales Manager Rex Gordon said: “After 25 years of the old, I’m ready for the new. I’ve been here 25 years and I think the changes are great…you’ll feel like you’re going in the city instead of the country to a store.”
Finance Manager Caroline McIntyre expressed her opinion that customers would find greater enjoyment in the renovated facility, which she added would be “much cleaner and organized.”
Certified Internet Manager Brittany Johnson said the changes would make Northern Neck Chevrolet more of a figure in a community instead of just a building that people drive by, hence “drumming up more business” for the dealership.
Sales Consultant L. Warren Parker, who began working for the business when it was named Chandler Chevrolet and located elsewhere in Montross in 1969, said the changes would “take a little time to get used to, but it’s just something that you have got to deal with.”
“People will really have to adapt to it, because they got used to this place here,” said Parker. “I’ve had a lot of loyal customers deal with me for 40 years. I appreciate them buying and coming, and I think everything will be all right.”
Service Manager Jamie Carpenter said, “This place has been here so long that everyone’s gotten used to seeing it, so it’s going to be a complete changeover when everything’s done.
“I think it’s going to be good for everyone to see the change,” Carpenter added.
Inventory Manager and Cashier Crystal Chatham said she was looking forward to having a nicer, cleaner, prettier and more spacious building to work in.
“I think it will be gorgeous and I just can’t wait for it to be done,” said Chatham, who added that the changes will be “really good in the long run.”
Collins commended his staff- including the above-mentioned employees as well as Michelle Snapp, Donna Lewis, Jamie Dove, Ryan Chatham, F. Halpin Jr., Cory Ball, Greg Gaylor, Bradley Smith, Mike Brown and Jaimie Bell for being team players and working nicely together throughout the chaos of the renovation project.
Collins’ wife, Missey Collins, was also recognized for working closely with the group during the process.
Marty Schuch is listed as Director of Operations.
Although construction is ongoing, Northern Neck Chevrolet remains open for business, and all operations – namely sales, services and parts – are “business as normal.”
For more information about Northern Neck Chevrolet, call (804) 493-8901 or visit nncp.com.