Auto lot changes locations

Kimberly Feather

What the customer wants is usually what the customer gets.

A Joplin car dealership is taking customer service one step further and meeting the customers needs with a new building.

Joplin Ford is currently renovating the former Albertson’s building, just north of Northpark Mall, into a state-of-the-art facility to better serve its customers.

Joplin Ford will soon be one of the largest dealerships in the area. “We are currently not the store of the future, and that is what we want to be,” said Michael Sagers, corporate finance director at Joplin Ford.

The company’s goal is to look 20-25 years down the road and see what the customer will want; it wants to be ahead of its time.

The waiting rooms will have a living room type of atmosphere with laptop hookups, televisions and comfortable seating space. The waiting rooms are going to be nice, Sagers said.

The location is older and out-of-date. With a newer facility, Joplin Ford has a greater chance of serving the customer more comfortably. With the relocation, it is basically like starting from scratch with a brand new dealership.

“We believe in taking care of our customers,” Sagers said.

Sagers said after finding the proper land, it is much more effective and more cost efficient to start from the frame of an old building.

Sagers thinks competition is good for any business, and he is not worried about the new Roper Kia or Roper Honda being close by.

“Joplin really seems to be building that way, dealer to dealer,” Sagers said.

Roper Honda shares the same views on the relocation.

“This is positive, I can’t wait,” said Rick Brown, general manager of Roper Honda. “This will bring more traffic to this part of town.

“It’s great the dealers are taking a look at present facilities and meeting the needs of the customers.”

Joplin Ford stands behind its mission statement to treat all customers in the dealership as “a guest in our homes.”

Plans are being made for the new building to open in May 2003.