By Rich Place
Come Monday morning, you’ll be able to purchase a new vehicle from Emerling Chrysler Dodge Jeep Ram and drive it off the lot and onto South Cascade Drive.
That’s the plan anyway for Emerling employees, who are expected to make the move this weekend from their current dealership on West Main Street to the spacious new location across from Emerling Ford.
“We are going to do a full-out team effort on Friday and Saturday,” explained Evan Emerling, vice president and son of owner Carl Emerling.
Evan gave the Springville Times a tour of the new facility earlier this week as construction crews continued to work both inside and outside of the building to prepare for its opening. The plan this week remained opening the store to the public on Monday.
The first improvement of the new building customers will likely notice is, quite obviously, the larger space. The new facility is about 40,000 square feet, nearly four times the space at the current Main Street location.
“In the showroom we’ll actually have a Dodge, a Chrysler, a Jeep and a Ram on display,” Emerling said, referencing the four varieties of vehicles sold at the dealership.
And with the upgrades to space — as well as simply the ability to integrate modern conveniences into a new building — customers will likely notice a difference right from the time they pull up.
A new quick check bay allows the customer to pull their vehicle up to have fluids topped off and alignment checked before its taken to a service bay. There’s also a larger lift and some larger bay doors that will allow Emerling Chrysler Dodge Jeep Ram to serve as a Business Link Dealer.
“We didn’t have the capacity to do that there (on Main Street), but that was one thing we definitely wanted over here to be able to do,” Emerling said.
There’s also more waiting rooms, including a typical waiting room with chairs and a television, but also another waiting area with a computer bar, fireplace and more open seating. Another luxury will be a bay that will allow potential buyers the opportunity to pull the vehicle inside to get it out of the elements if desired.
Emerling explained Chrysler essentially has a handful of templates for small, medium and larger dealerships. When it came time to conceive the design for this new dealership, they “kind of molded all three together,” he said.
Standing in the spacious showroom — empty during the tour on Tuesday — Emerling said like the new Ford dealership across the street, they wanted the new facility to be impressive.
“We’re competing with dealers in the cities,” he said. “We know there is nothing they can do that we can’t — but let’s go big or go home, basically. Let’s make this place look like a cathedral.”
It’ll be an improvement from the current location on Main Street, which Emerling purchased from Bob Johnson Motors in 2012. Emerling said he believes that location as a dealership dates back to the 1940s.
But as business grew, Emerling Chrysler Dodge Jeep Ram needed a new home.
“The parking lot at our old facility, besides the fact that it’s really crowded, is that it’s weirdly shaped,” Emerling said. “If a customer comes in or a parts delivery person parks in the middle of the driveway, it messes everything up. It’ll be nice not to have to worry about that.”
The opening comes nearly 10 months after Emerling officials and local representatives gathered Oct. 27, 2017, to break ground on the building. Evan Emerling said a request from the State Historic Preservation Office to have archaeological work performed at the site delayed the opening a bit.
Emerling Chrysler Dodge Jeep Ram currently employs about 25, Emerling said, but that is “going to have to expand pretty much overnight.”
“The building is bigger, we need to grow into the building,” he explained. “If you are expecting a certain level of productivity, you need a certain amount of people to get there.”
Emerling said its expected a more formal after-hours grand opening, similar to the one held at Emerling Ford across the street, could be held in September.