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Roger Scholfield would like to invite you into his new living room – a place where he happens to sell cars.
Scholfield’s new Scholfield Honda dealership is now open on East Kellogg between Woodlawn and Rock Road. He says customers keep comparing it to their homes and how their kitchens flow into their living rooms.
“Everybody just really likes the open flow,” he says.
There are also high ceilings and lots of areas for relaxing while customers wait on their cars to be serviced.
In November, Scholfield unveiled the first phase of the new 54,000-square-foot dealership, which was a new service center.
Now, the new waiting area for the center is ready along with the rest of the building, which is for new car sales.
“It’s everything I thought it would be and more,” Scholfield says. “It’s been overwhelmingly positive.”
Just past the service center is an Avanti Market for customers to purchase food and drinks while they wait. There’s also a free Starbucks station for coffee and hot chocolate.
There’s a faux fireplace, several TVs and lots of areas for reading. There’s an enclosed area for kids to play, and there’s even a mini station for dogs to take a break.
“It’s just a really nice atmosphere,” Scholfield says. He says customers “just like all the separate little areas in the showroom that they can spread out.”
He says he took inspiration from airports and installed lots of outlets.
“We have all sorts of plug-in seats,” Scholfield says. “You’ll find seating areas galore.”
There’s an accessories area where customers can shop for items to add to their vehicles.
Upstairs, there’s a room for nursing mothers to have privacy.
“They appreciate the fact that it’s there,” Scholfield says.
He says moms in general are enjoying the kids area and food and drink options to help keep their children occupied when they visit.
“The old service lounge for express was a little small, but when we built it, we didn’t realize it was going to explode like it did,” Scholfield says.
Now that everything is open in one place, he says, “You just realize how much more service volume we do.”
Scholfield says he studied a lot of dealerships – even as far away as Los Angeles – before building this one.
“Our competitors let us come in.”
Scholfield says he tried to ask smart questions.
“This is the first dealership I’ve built from the ground up.”
Scholfield is now in the final demolition phase of his old dealership on the property, which was built in 1985. There will be about four weeks of site work, then paving, striping and lighting for a new parking lot.
“And then getting all of our inventory out front, which is a luxury that we’ve never had before,” Scholfield says. “That will be really nice.”
General manager Brad Cox says there’s been only limited parking for customers.
When someone can’t find a space, he says, “We take a risk of losing that customer and never seeing them back.”
Previously, there’s been even less room for inventory, which has been behind the building.
When it moves out front, Cox says, “Just the ease of doing business is going to be so, so much better.”
Scholfield says everything is going to be better.
“Just the whole facility and the way we’re set up and the volume we do, that’s going to help our growth as much as anything.”
Scholfield says his service capacity has increased and he’s hired more technicians.
“We can do anything,” he says of servicing all makes and models – not just Hondas.
There’s also a used car building on the property, which has been remodeled “so those guys don’t feel so left out,” Cox says.
Scholfield doesn’t have any other building or remodeling plans for now.
“Nah, I need to take a little break.”
He says he and Honda have both come a long way.
Near the waiting area of the new dealership is a bright orange 1971 Honda Coupe that came from Scholfield Honda’s stock from the first month it was open. A fellow dealer gave the car to Scholfield and his father, Vic, to use in the new showroom.
“It’s just a nice little bit of nostalgia,” Roger Scholfield says.
He says he’s happy to showcase the old model and juxtapose it in his gleaming, modern new facility.
“It’s everything we wanted.”