It’s an impressive feat in this economy; a local car dealer is expanding. The Stevenson franchise opened its newest dealership this week and plans for future expansion are on the horizon.
“We’re going to continue to grow, we’re a very progressive organization, we want to grow,” GM Pat Koballa said.
Stevenson Auto owns 14 other franchises, including three in the Wilmington area.
But the new Mazda dealership is unlike any other.
“This is state of the art, I mean you go inside and you can’t even believe you’re in a car dealership, and the service department looks like just something, well in the 21st century,” said Debra Roberts.
From its bright exterior to the flashy displays, it’s already drawing plenty of attention. Windows into the service shop allow drivers to check-up on the mechanics, while the car gets a check-up of it’s own.
Bobby Clemmons said, “I like the coffee and the video games, it’s a nice little touch, it makes it less unbearable just to sit around.”
“Customers are the most important things, ultimately there the ones who are helping us make the decision to expand, and we try to take care of them as best as possible,” Koballa said.
Plans for the new dealership started in 2006 when the economy was better.
Having the opening coincide with the cash for clunkers program helped business get off to a fast start.
“The timing was certainly an issue and timing wasn’t perfect, but we’ve been working on this project for several years now and things finally came together,” Koballa said.
“I think a lot of people will enjoy just dropping by to look around, if nothing else,” Roberts added.
Maybe they’ll find the time to take a quick spin.
Stevenson Auto isn’t done expanding just yet. Now that the Mazda dealership is open, the company plans to make over the facilities at its Kia dealership. Once the Mazda move in is complete, the company will have hired ten new employees.