The former Honda of Spokane dealership in Spokane Valley has been modernized in a $1 million renovation, and is now called Valley Honda.
The remodeling included the showroom, sales offices and service center in the 30,000-square-foot building, located at 8201 E. Sprague. A quick-lube area also was added, said Chris Marr, of Foothills Auto Group, which owns the Honda dealership. Ray Kish is Marr’s partner in Foothills, which also owns Valley Acura, adjacent to Valley Honda, plus Foothills Lincoln-Mercury/Mazda and Quality Care Service Center.
Valley Honda and Valley Acura together employ 60 people and sold $35 million worth of cars last year. Marr said Valley Honda accounted for about $20 million of those sales.
Honda Motor Co. sent out a design team that helped Valley Honda incorporate the manufacturer’s new trademark look with renovations that reflect an auto-industry trend of making car shopping more customer-friendly.
“It’s about creating an impression with customers and finding out how they want to buy cars,” Marr said.
Inside Valley Honda, walls were demolished and cramped sales offices were replaced by open seating areas with cafe-style tables and a computer where car buyers can access Web sites such as Kelley Blue Book.
“It’s kind of an area where they can get on the computers or look at samples, and it’s more customer-friendly,” Marr said.
Separate seating areas are open, yet maintain a sense of privacy for negotiating sales. The tables have fresh-flower arrangements that Marr’s mother, Mitsie Marr, assembles regularly.
Kids have their own waiting area where they can read, color or watch movies and play video games.
Service customers can watch their cars being fixed via a glass-enclosed waiting room.
Marr said service centers are increasingly becoming the lifeblood for dealerships, so it’s important to provide a high level of service.
“We’ve tried to create a culture here that’s bending over backwards (to serve customers),” he said. “It’s a lot less expensive to sell to repeat customers, because your repeat customers don’t have to be sold on the service.”
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