Brian Bailey, president of Bailey Toyota on Confederation, sits in temporary office quarters and marvels at the ongoing reconstruction work at his dealership.
His office these days is in the new service area that was built just before Bailey and his sales staff needed to move and make way for demolition at the front of the building. When the new, two-storey showroom is ready this summer, they’ll move back into larger office space and a new showroom that can accommodate up to 12 vehicles.
Until then, they’ve got makeshift partitions between their desks and construction workers just outside their windows.
You might think the general buzz of the dealership as it undergoes a major transformation would be distracting, but it’s not, says Bailey.
“I’m pleasantly surprised at how well it’s going,” he said. “I was concerned about staff morale and I expected sales to be down a bit.”
But just the opposite is true.
“I think working in close quarters actually brings us closer together as a staff and morale is fine,” Bailey said. As for sales, business has been steady and the number of cars leaving the lot has increased since construction began last August.
Maaten Construction is the contractor for all three phases of the project, estimated at more than $4 million.
“I want to do it right,” said Bailey. “The money I’m investing will give our customers a lot more convenience; it will expedite service and make us more efficient.”
When all is finished, Bailey Toyota will double in size. Its service department will have 10 bays and the new showroom will be much more spacious.
Bailey said he’s amazed that he’s been present for two major expansions of the family business.
“I was here when we expanded 22 years ago. I never dreamed in a million years that we’d outgrow that building,” he said.
The redeveloped dealership will meet the requirements of Toyota’s image program and is expected to improve customer service. That should translate into increased sales volume, Bailey said.
“I’m really looking forward to it all being done,” he added. “Our customers will be more comfortable. They’ll be able to drive in for service. We’ll have more space, a better layout and it will be air conditioned.”
The construction schedule is well into the third and final phase with the roof and steel framework in place for the showroom. The vast majority of the work is expected to be complete in July with finishing touches in place by August.
MAKING IT ACCESSIBLE
The Hon. David Onley, Ontario’s Lieutenant Governor, was expected in Sarnia May 7 at the Lambton Inn Residence and Event Centre to talk about Breaking Barriers to Business. The free event is hosted by the local Chamber, but an RSVP is required.
Visit www.sarnialambtonchamber.com or call 519-336-2400.
If you miss that one, you might consider attending the local Chamber’s lunchtime workshop on May 16 to discuss your business and the new accessibility regulations.
The event includes lunch and costs $25. It takes place in the Chamber’s boardroom on Christina Street. Call 519-336-2400 or register on line. Guest speaker is Louie DiPalma of the Ontario Chamber of Commerce.
Got an interesting business story? Contact Cathy Dobson at [email protected] or call 226-932-0985.
– Cathy Dobson