Owner Jim Gill and general manager Ryan Gill are leading Chesrown to build a larger physical and virtual presence in the marketplace.
For many years, automobile dealers have tried to take the hassle out of buying new and pre-owned cars. They tried to make vehicle shopping fun and enjoyable — not an easy task.
Chesrown Chevrolet Buick GMC in Delaware is no different, and has added a double dose of updates to both its physical and digital presence in the Columbus market, while adding an exciting element to the car-buying experience.
First, the physical. Business has been good, so the dealdership needed to expand, according to owner Jim Gill.
The result is a 36,000-square foot, new-car showroom and service center across the street from its existing dealership on Columbus Pike. That building will be used to sell pre-owned vehicles.
“We’ve been blessed with having so many new and repeat customers, and this new facility will allow us to serve them better,” he said. “Every new and pre-owned vehicle we sell comes with free lifetime oil changes and tire rotations. So the more cars we sell, the more space we need to offer those services.”
The new space gives Chesrown three times the service capacity, according to Ryan Gill, general manager and Jim’s son. The staff has increased by nearly 50 percent.
“Customer service and customer retention are number one for us,” Jim said. “This allows us to serve more customers quicker.”
The second update is carpricecountdown.com, an online component created by Ryan. The site features cars from Chesrown’s pre-owned dealership, which was renamed Chesrown Car Price Countdown.
“When dealers get a used car, they have the initial price, and then might take $800 to $1,200 off the car every 30 days as it ages,” Ryan said. “If you go to the site (carpricecountdown.com), you can select a car or cars and watch the price go down (like a stock ticker) throughout the day, every day, until the vehicle sells.”
One of the features of the site is a price-drop alert, which allows customers to select a vehicle and then be notified when the price drops to their desired price. If customers find a car for the right price, they could put down a $100 deposit on it, and the dealership would hold it for 24 hours.
“For instance, if a car is listed at $24,500, you can set a price drop alert at $22,000. If the price gets that low, you will be get a text or an email,” Ryan said.
Some customers want to spend as little time as possible in a dealership, he added, and this site helps them accomplish that.
“And it’s a lot of fun to sit there and watch the prices go down,” Ryan said.
He first thought of the idea four years ago when he managed the pre-owned vehicles. He said he has a patent pending on the software.
“Normally, we would cut prices after the car was with us for 30 days, or a different period of time depending on the vehicle,” he said. “In reality, the price of that pre-owned car does go down incrementally, and I wanted to make that information available to buyers.”
He did extensive testing on the site before launching it, and made sure it would coincide with the opening of the new showroom. He may market it to other dealers across the country, but for now it’s only available through Chesrown.
“I think it’s really going to take off,” Ryan said. “The new site launched recently, and it’s generating a huge amount of Web traffic.”