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Appearance but little else changing for auto dealership

POSTED: October 27, 2011 6:28 p.m.
Graphic provided/

Above is a look at what the exterior of Fuller Chevrolet will look like once it’s completed.

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As general manager of the dealership, Tommy Arden doesn’t want anybody to fret over the letters and iconic Chevrolet symbol having been pulled down from Fuller Chevrolet’s façade. In fact, it represents a change in the appearance of the longtime Effingham County business.

The dealership will remain Chevrolet and remain right where it is, Arden emphasized. It’s just going to change its look, in accord with General Motors’ company-wide directive for dealers to give their facilities a new look.

“We’re remodeling,” Arden said. “There’s going to be a lot going on. But we’re still here, and we’re going to continue to be here.
“We’re making a commitment to this community.”

Fuller Chevy has been in Rincon for 11 years and is nearing its 20th anniversary of moving to Effingham County. It’s been at its current spot on Highway 21 for 16 years.

Two years ago, GM initiated the General Motors Facility Image Program. It includes everything from the outward appearance of the dealership to floor plans and furnishings and interior finishes. GM also is instituting a facility image program for its brands and dealerships, including Buick, GMC and Cadillac.

“All the Chevy dealers are going to look the same way,” Arden said.

Customers and passers-by will see “some significant changes,” Arden added. While the store’s fascia will be replaced, inside, customers will see new ceiling tiles, new lightings and new furnishings.

Also included is a customer lounge with a workplace area, something the dealership already offers. The facility image plan also calls for a children’s play area and a refreshment center with a flat-screen television.

The challenge for the dealership is to enact all the changes without interrupting the flow of business.

“We’ll do it when we don’t inconvenience the customers,” Arden said. “Most of the stuff we’re trying to do on the weekends.”

The dealership’s exterior work will be done in sections and includes the entire dealership, all the way to the service department.

The entire exterior of the building will be re-painted.

Arden also stressed that the money being spent on the remodeling, “an enormous amount,” he said, will almost all stay in the community. The new tower and façade has to be done by an approved GM contractor. But Arden pushed to have the rest done by area contractors.

“Everything else in here is being done by local contractors,” he said. “We went to great lengths to make sure we used local contractors.”

Arden said he wanted to express how much the dealership appreciates the loyalty of the citizens of Effingham County and Rincon to Fuller Chevrolet.

“This should be a sign of our total commitment to the community,” Arden said, “and of our long-term commitment to the community. We appreciate their business. We want to continue to be their total GM store.”

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