Dreaming in Motion: New GMC/Buick Showroom Joins Automotive Row

Posted: Sunday, February 16, 2014 5:00 am

By Joyce Lobeck

Fisher Automotive has an upscale new showroom for GMC and Buick vehicles it showed off to the public last week with a grand opening.

The new showroom, which gives GMC and Buick brands their own home after sharing space for years with other car makes, is the latest in a number of improvements in recent years along Automotive Row.

The stretch of 32nd Street from the Big Curve to Pacific Avenue has seen a lot of construction activity as new dealerships were built for Sonora Nissan, Alexander Toyota, Bill Alexander Flightline Mazda, Yuma Honda and Fisher Chevrolet. Other dealerships have received major make-overs.

The 8,986-square-foot GMC/Buick showroom is right next door to the Fisher Chevrolet dealership 775 E. 32nd St. The showroom can be reached by calling the Fisher Chevrolet dealership number of 726-5500.

The latest models of a Sierra pickup, a Buick Enclave crossover and a Buick Verano sedan were on display on the floor of the showroom the other day.

A quick lube attached to the showroom was doing a brisk business while technicians at other bays did more extensive service work. And customers could wait for their vehicles in a comfy lounge, helping themselves to free Wi-fi and complimentary coffee and bottled water with Fisher’s own label.

Larry Linares, marketing director for Fisher Automotive, pointed out his new office. Other employees located at the new showroom include fleet manager Thomas Williams and sales staff for a total of six.

 Construction began last spring and was completed in late December.

“I’m excited to have it,” Joe Fisher Jr., owner of Fisher Automotive with his wife, Annie, said of the new showroom built to the latest specifications of General Motors. And he’s proud of the fact it was built by local contractor Yuma Valley Contractors.

As GM strives to remake Buick and GMC into more premium brands, the automaker is also upgrading its dealerships and service departments to play the part, too. Those renovations include new signs and bright, airy showrooms featuring a customer greeting station and lounge.

The facades of the new Buick-GMC dealerships come in silver and black. The main entrance incorporates a “twin tower” facade element, which features a large overhead arch, and the Buick and GMC logos painted in black and silver.

GM is heavily involved with making sure that each new Buick-GMC dealership has a consistent look.

“They want all the stores to look like that,” said Fisher, adding that GM regulates the look down to the floor tiles, furniture and colors.

“Fortunately, they have good taste,” he said. “They do a really good job. It’s modern, comfortable and inviting.”

And he appreciated not having to deal with the myriad of choices.

Still under construction is a project to add a 108-kilowatt solar canopy system on the back of the new showroom to help power the new store.

“With the sunshine here, it would be crazy not to have solar,” Fisher said.

The new facility has other state-of-the-art green features as well. The showroom has extra insulation and it’s all-steel construction. Measures in the service department reduce air pollution and protect the environment. And all the bays are under roof and climate controlled for the comfort of the technicians.

This is the second time in recent years that Fisher has received the certificate of occupancy to a new facility for Christmas.

He was able to move into the new Fisher Chevrolet dealership, rebuilt from the ground up, just days before Christmas of 2011.

Yuma’s GMC/Buick dealership originally was paired with the Hyundai dealership, which Fisher purchased a few years ago from Karl Moedl. Fisher then moved GMC/Buick over to Fisher Chevrolet to consolidate the GM products in one location. Now GMC/Buick has its own home right next door.

“The customers love it … the employees love it,” said Fisher. “It’s an investment back to the community. Yuma is just a great community and we try to give back. It allows us to better serve the community.”

After all, he said, when people come in to purchase a new car, they want to do it in a nice setting.

Next on his list is a major remodel of Fisher Chrysler/Dodge/Jeep/Ram at 349 E. 32nd St. Fisher anticipates work to start on that dealership in May and be completed by December. The existing building won’t be replaced, but it will be gutted and given an extensive overhaul.

Doing anything major to the Hyundai dealership will be down the road a ways as it was given a major remodel a few years ago, Fisher said.