This unique dealership offers fleet customers an experience that gives commercial clients preferred access to service and sales.
Don Bradley came out of retirement five years ago to take on the position of Business Elite Manager at Georgian Chevrolet Buick GMC in Barrie, Ontario. Initially, he recalls, he was promised a part-time job. But two weeks later it turned into a full-time position that he continues to enjoy to this day.
Today, Bradley is part of a proud team of fleet specialists at Georgian Chevrolet Buick GMC, which includes Peter Doyle, Fleet Manager; Nick Kloepfer, Fleet Sales; and Charlene Storey, Commercial Fleet Service Consultant.
Bradley is no stranger to the auto industry or to fleet. Before retiring, he spent four years with GM Canada, specializing for over half of those years in fleet and commercial sales.
As a Business Elite dealer, Georgian Chevrolet Buick GMC places a special emphasis on the needs of fleet customers. What sets this GM store apart from most other Business Elite dealerships, however, is the fact that their fleet department is run out of a completely separate building, dedicated to the needs of fleet customers.
“There aren’t too many dealers who have a separate commercial facility for their commercial clients,” Bradley says. “But we do, and I like to call it ‘Commercial Comfortable.’ We have a commercial service area with big doors for big vehicles. We have sales offices for our commercial customers. And our customers don’t have to worry about coming in wearing their work clothes to talk about their needs.”
The facility is actually an old Coca Cola factory and warehouse, but it’s perfect for fleet vehicles because it comes with all the features that allow Bradley and his team to cater to the needs of their fleet customers.
When asked why this fleet facility is doing so well, Bradley is quick to credit the dealer and upper management. “I was in fleet at GM for over half my career, and part of my job when I first joined the team was to go around to the dealers to ask why they’re not in the fleet business,” he recalls. “They had a variety of reasons, but they didn’t realize the business benefits of selling to fleet customers. What makes us different is that we have 100% commitment and support from our dealer and management.”
The unique facility is also a big factor. “So many of our commercial customers comment on how they enjoy coming in, just to visit sometimes,” Bradley adds. “They don’t have to walk through a dealership just to get to the commercial fleet office, and we cater to all their needs—from sales to service and upfitting.”
Beyond Barrie’s borders
With such a unique facility, and such an eager fleet team, Georgian Chevrolet Buick GMC regularly attracts customers from beyond what would normally be a dealership’s typical geographic reach.
In fact, Bradley says his team has a map in the office with pins marking the location of each of their fleet customers. Thanks to their eagerness to bid on inquiries beyond Barrie, and the word-of-mouth-advertising that comes from providing top-notch service, they now have pins all over Ontario.
“Our clients include everybody from farmers to electricians to plumbers to the big leasing companies to daily rental companies, government agencies, and beyond,” Bradley says. “We cater to the needs of all fleet clients.”