POULSBO — Talk to the folks at Courtesy Chevrolet about their newly-built lots and the “c” word will inevitably come up.
No, it’s not “car.”
“It was time to expand and give something back to the customers and the community,” said Darrin Hudson, general manager, noting that the reasons for building expanded new and used car lots are first and foremost for the people the business serves.
Community is very much a part of the way Courtesy works, as the auto group has been a part of North Kitsap for about 20 years now. It all started with Courtesy Ford and expanded to a General Motors dealership farther south on Viking Avenue.
Hudson said the group always intended to someday expand the Chevrolet dealership into land it owned next to the Ford dealership, however, the expansion was mainly powered by the community. He said auto group sells about 600 cars per month on average, and the management began to see that demand was outrunning supply in their old location.
“The type of volume we were doing was hard to do in an area that small,” Hudson explained. “We didn’t have enough parking spots for the customers we were having on a daily basis.”
An updated new car lot, offices and service bays were moved into the new site at the beginning of September. Employees are expected to move into the new used car lot this week.
The new car area features a 17-stall service area compared to the old seven-stall version, room for four cars in the showroom as opposed to one, and a paved lot with more frontage than the old gravel lot. Hudson said a move like this is always for the good of the customer, but he and his employees can’t help but find a little enjoyment in it all.
“It makes the sales people feel better. They’re more proud to sell a product on this lot. It’s a little hard to sell a $40,000 car on a dirt lot,” Hudson added.
And though their new digs have Courtesy employees whistling a happy tune, Hudson said there are always plans in the works to make the area better. Soon the old Chevrolet dealership building will be transformed into a new Suzuki lot.
“Something’s always moving somewhere,” he said.
And, of course, Hudson said he likes the fact that the new lots enhance the community’s appearance. He said Viking Avenue is very much becoming a car-buying destination for people from places like Bremerton, Port Orchard and Port Townsend.
However, Hudson added, the auto group would never have been able to expand the way it did without support from locals. The company tries to show its community spirit by participating in community events like sponsoring the “Fireworks of the Fjord” and participating in Chamber of Commerce projects. Hudson said he sees that Poulsbo has taken notice.
“People just walk in here and they know us because we’ve been here so long. A lot of people in the area come here first for their cars because they know we’ll treat them right,” he added.