Building customer loyalty is the key to a good business, Troy Dalton said.
Changes already are under way at the new Ottawa Dodge, Chrysler, Ram, Jeep, 327 W. 23rd St., Ottawa, formerly South Star Chrysler, Dalton, general manager, said, and there’s more to come.
“We’re bringing a whole different attitude,” he said. “I’ve got quite a bit of inventory being built up right now. We’re here to sell cars because nothing happens until cars are sold, and we’ll be aggressive in making deals, I can guarantee it.”
The dealership has been under new ownership since Monday when Allen Weiss, former chief executive officer of Coventry Health Care, bought South Star Chrysler, he said.
With 30 years of experience, Dalton said, he’s not worried about the soon-to-be nearby competition. Advantage Ford, now at 402 N. Main St., Ottawa, is set to move its location this fall to an area southeast of the intersection of East 23rd street and South Oak Streets.
“I welcome competition,” Dalton said. “It’ll drive business to both of us. I come from a store where I definitely know how to sell cars. I want to bring the people of Ottawa and surrounding communities a viable dealer again in this area.”
By upping the inventory, Dalton said, it will give the dealership a leg up over the competition by increasing its selection.
“I will have, within a short amount of time, about 100 to 125 cars,” he said. “People like some sort of selection, and you’ve got to have the inventory on the ground to sell them.”
With a mix of pre-owned, new trucks, imports and domestics, Dalton said, he thinks he’ll have no trouble selling everything on the lot.
“I came from a store where I had BMWs, Mercedes, Land Rovers — a little bit of everything,” he said. “So I’ll have a little bit of everything here.”
Dalton spent 29 years working in Osawatomie and just recently moved to Gardner, he said. One thing that sets the new dealership apart is that people in the area know him, he added.
“The one thing I bring is knowledge of the community and surrounding areas,” Dalton said. “I bring a reputation. People in this area know who I am and what I represent. People know what I do, not what I do to them.”
His hope for the new dealership is longevity and to make buying a car a more enjoyable experience, Dalton said.
“It’s got to be enjoyable because we’re looking to not just sell to somebody one time, we want them to come back over and over again,” he said. “Building loyalty is very important, and that’s a business ran right. This is the start of something I feel is very right.”