There is nothing wrong with Toyota of Olympia’s current location at 2225 Carriage Drive SW in Olympia, except that it lacks the space the growing car dealership needs to give their customers the world-class service the team strives toward. The new location at 6969 Tyee Drive in Tumwater definitely does not have that problem. A staggering 22-acre property with a 94,000-square-foot building makes you feel like you are entering Disneyland as you drive up. “And we want you to have as much fun here as you would there,” says Joe McCorkle, general manager for Toyota of Olympia.
The new building is more than double their current space, while the property itself is more than quadruple the size – their current location is just five acres. The dealership’s staff is excited about what this space means for their customers. “We’ve just outgrown this current location,” says Carol Peebles, customer relations manager and executive assistant to general manager/owners. “The move will not only be more convenient to customers, but our staff as well,” she adds.
Part of the space problem included not enough room for their large inventory of new and used cars. As they grew, they ended up with vehicles spread out on three additional lots. This, of course, was inconvenient for both customers and a staff. “If someone wants a certain car, we had to go look for it,” explains McCorkle. “It could have been on any of those three lots. This meant our customers were having to wait while a salesperson went to fetch the car and that’s not okay with us. We want the customers to get the car they want, quickly.”
We all know what car buying is like – most of us would rather have a root canal than go to a car dealership. The team at Toyota of Olympia feels the same way and is passionate about changing the way people see car buying. As owner Dustin Rotter says, “We want to put the fun back in buying a car.”
Their motto is, “Always do the right thing and always do what you say you will.” This can only be accomplished by a business when they have the right philosophy when it comes to their staff. McCorkle gives his team the freedom and autonomy to do whatever they believe is necessary to please the customer and have fun.
Recently, a customer came to their lot and spied a trade-in that was bound for the auction. The customer wanted the car, even though they told her it was headed to auction and not something they would normally sell. But she still wanted it and they sold it to her. Before she left she asked them, “If the transmission goes out in two weeks, what are you going to do?” The response from Toyota of Olympia was simple, “We’ll replace it.” Well, she came back almost two weeks later and told the team, “Guess what, you get to do what you said you would.” And they did. They gave her a loaner car and replaced the transmission, no charge.
“We hire great people, take care of great people and deliver a world-class level of service and an experience that is different and unique than anything else in the automobile industry,” says McCorkle. “I’d rather have a root canal than buy a car myself, so I get. We get it.”
Extensive training is in place to ensure every team member can perform their role to the best of their ability. And this shows in the way they do business. Their philosophy means they look out for their customer – making sure they don’t miss any deals, such as rebates, with the end result of making sure they sell you the car for less than anyone else could.
For The People
From driving as far as Aberdeen and Seattle for pick-ups or drop-offs, to making sure customers have all the information they need to be an informed buyer – even if the person doesn’t buy a car from them, Toyota of Olympia’s first priority truly is people.
And the proof that this is working for them is in the numbers. In just over three years, the dealership has grown from selling 1,500 cars a year to over 4,000 a year, making it the sixth largest dealership in a five state region.
But it’s not just the growth that tells them they are doing right by their customers. They know they are succeeding by the feedback they get. Shaena Langley, general sales manager, says customers come in, call or even text to tell them how happy they are with their cars and the service they received. One customer even brought in homemade apple cobbler as a thank you. Another gave the salesmen who helped them personalized glass mugs with the Toyota logo.
So while their philosophy might be driving their growth, it’s their customers that are driving their move.
The new facility was built with comfort and convenience for the customer as top priority. Customers can expect the same world-class service in a facility that will be even more accommodating, including things never before seen at a car dealership. Stay tuned for more details and a sneak peek inside the new facility in a “virtual tour” article coming soon.
The new Tumwater location will offer new and used cars, service and parts. The current location on 2225 Carriage SW in Olympia will become a used car supercenter featuring a full inventory of used cars (various makes/models) and certified pre-owned Toyotas.
For more information, visit the Toyota of Olympia website or call 360-539-3939.