SALEM - The Stadium GM Superstore will show off its brand new, 34,000 square foot, state-of-the art building when it holds a ribbon-cutting and grand opening ceremony at 5 p.m. Thursday.
The dealership, located at 292 W. State St., is the only one in the area selling and servicing all General Motors lines under one roof.
General manager Mike Hudock said it was designed with input from GM.
The “huge” Stadium GM Superstore service department is roomy and open and heated by two oil-burning furnaces that use recycled motor oil. Technicians are multi-line certified in servicing any make or model of car. Stadium will be holding a ribbon-cutting and grand opening at its new state-of-the-art dealership at 5 p.m. Thursday. (Salem News photo by Larry Shields)
"Shorty Navarro (owner) and I sort of did the layout," Hudock said adding they followed GM outlines.
"I'll bet we nearly doubled the size of the facility," he said and noted that with all the new technology every aspect of the business is more efficient.
Art Shuster of Salem was the general contractor and Hudock said, "We tried to keep everything local. We thought that was important for the community. We didn't want to bring any outside help in."
A couple of sales people and service department employees were added.
The new service department is a showpiece itself with a glass-smooth concrete floor, wide, roomy service areas and it has double the capacity which means customers get served faster.
Plus, it's heated with recycled motor oil that fires two furnaces.
"There are two clean-burn furnaces," Hudock said, noting they store 500 gallons of used oil on site.
A bonus for people in for servicing their vehicle is they don't have to face the outdoor elements when they stop in for service - they drive right in to the service department and then can wait in the customer lounge.
"It's a great improvement," Hudock said, adding, "our technicians are multi-line and certified in any make and model."
There is also a bigger and better parts counter greeting customers next to the service department.
If stretched out on one side of the street the dealership would easily cover a city block and much of the space is used for inventory.
There are about 600 vehicles at the dealership split about halfway between new and used, Hudock said, noting that a parking lot on East Second Street is for the service department and employees along with overflow inventory.
Believe it or not, drive by today and the inventory is down.
It doesn't look like it, but Hudock, pointing across the street to where more cars are usually stocked, said it's due to a couple of really good sales months.
The used car department has doubled in size and used car Manager Dan Chaffee carefully selects premium pre-owned cars and trucks.
"We want to focus on making sure that our customers can be assured that we will have the perfect vehicle for them at the right prices and payment," Chaffee said.
With all the demands of a bigger selection, Stadium expanded its finance department.
"We not only want to make sure that our customers get exactly the right vehicle they want, but we also want to make sure they will get the absolute best finance rates and service anywhere," Hudock said adding that arrangements with local banks make sure people with past credit problems including bankruptcies, medical bills or divorce situations can get the vehicle they need at the best rates.
Stadium GM also operates one of the best body shops anywhere with Paul Shuster.
The side of the body shop was redone and inside craftsman can transform damaged vehicles into a like-new look with a short turn-around time.
What about the so-called shale boom?
Hudock said Stadium has seen business pick up.
"Absolutely," he said, "not only the locals but the transient workers ... our service department has picked up tremendously. They're attached to their old truck and they want us to keep it up."
And the new diesel Cruze?
So far, Stadium GM has sold two of the brand new diesel-powered cars and has two in stock.
The 2.0 liter turbo-diesel Cruzes are touted at over 33 miles per gallon and are quiet while packing a punch.
"They get up and go," Hudock said from behind the wheel of a black Cruze diesel with a six-speed automatic. They're smooth, seamless and quiet I think it's going to be a thing for the public to embrace."
Capable of going 750 miles on a tank that will get you to Maine or the Outer Banks of North Carolina.
If you want to know if it's a diesel, there is a green "2.0 TD" badge attached to left side of the truck lid.
"Today," Hudock said, "no one is building a bad car ... I like seeing the colors ... cars are back to vibrant colors."
He said the new dealership "was a large process, but we're pleased with the way it came out.
"We get compliments ... it would have been cheaper to go on the bypass. If we had moved it would have left a big hole here and we didn't want to do that to the community.
'We're doing well, we're enthusiastic and excited for the future ..." firstname.lastname@example.org