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June 19, 2013

Dealer says Warren ‘still a great place to do business’

Galeana’s Van Dyke Dodge celebrates success, new investment with open house

By Brian Louwers
C & G Staff Writer

» click to enlarge «
Galeana Van Dyke Dodge salesman Erik Converse talks with a customer in the dealership’s recently remodeled front showroom in Warren.

WARREN — Not only can a dealership survive in today’s business climate by exclusively selling Dodge and Ram products — it can thrive.

That’s being proven by Galeana’s Van Dyke Dodge, which  celebrated a sweeping remodeling investment June 13 with an open house for the staff, customers and local officials, including Mayor Jim Fouts.

“It’s great for us. We wanted to make a big deal of it,” said Carl Galeana, president of Galeana’s Van Dyke Dodge and the Galeana Automotive Group. “It was a major reinvestment of dollars in that area.”

While 789 other franchises were canceled nationally after the Chrysler bankruptcy in 2008, Van Dyke Dodge continued doing what they’ve always done best: exclusively selling Dodge and Ram products.

“It’s worked to our advantage,” Van Dyke Dodge Sales Manager John Caldwell said. “When they consolidated the brands, a similar store selling a similar volume, selling all four brands (Dodge, Ram, Chrysler and Jeep), they don’t have the selection we have. If they have to stock 600 cars and it’s also spread across Chrysler and Jeep, I’m going to have a better selection when it comes to Dodge and Ram.

“No, I’m not going to have Chrysler and Jeep, but I’m not marketing to those customers,” Caldwell said.

Galeana said Van Dyke Dodge was one of the few dealerships in the nation that wasn’t able to pick up the automaker’s other brands after the bankruptcy.  

“We looked at it as a glass half filled,” Galeana said. “Quite frankly, we said we’re going to market ourselves. We’re going to be the best Dodge/Ram dealer in the country.”

Sales have backed up that commitment: Van Dyke Dodge was the third-best selling dealership in the country for Dodge and Ram products in May.

“It proves that, No. 1, a Dodge/Ram dealer can survive on its own, and No. 2, Warren, Michigan, is still a great place to do business,” Galeana said.

Caldwell said remodeling at the dealership began last fall and finished in March. He said they’ve added jobs, including four people in sales, gave the building a facelift and upgraded technology, including communication and showroom management.

You can reach C & G Staff Writer Brian Louwers at brianlouwers@candgnews.com or at (586)498-1089.