By Keith Gushard
Palmiero Toyota Scion’s property along Route 322 in Vernon Township looks barren these days, but it won’t be for long.
The recent tear down of the auto dealership’s showroom has opened the second phase of a major expansion of the company’s facilities, according to Allison Palmiero Brady, Palmiero Toyota Scion’s president.
It’s all part of the dealership’s complete rebuild of its physical facilities that began back in September 2012. The construction cost is estimated at $4.5 million, according to records filed with the Vernon Township.
“We’re still open — both selling and servicing cars,” Palmiero Brady said.
The bulk of the inventory for the dealership has been moved behind a new larger service building that was constructed during the fall and winter, she said. The offices for both service and sales were moved into trailers March 23 while service and parts departments relocated into the new service building.
“We hope to open the new showroom in the fall,” Palmiero Brady said.
Palmiero Brady said the dealership has been in consultation with Toyota Motors about planning the expansion of its operations.
When completed, the dealership will have 41,545 square feet under roof with the service area and showroom. That’s about double the size of the former buildings, she said.
“For a while we’ve known we’ve needed to do something,” Palmiero Brady said. “We outgrew our service department to accommodate our customers needs several years ago.”
The new building has a drive-up service area and 23 service bays compared to 14 in the old building, she said. Amenities in the building include a waiting lounge along with a play area for children, she said.
With the larger service area, the dealership has increased the number of service technicians from six to eight, she said. Palmiero Toyota Scion has a total of 42 full-time employees, she said.
Last week, the dealership held an in-house breakfast for its 42 employees to bid goodbye to the old showroom, part of the original buildings that date back to the 1970s.
In 2012, Palmiero Toyota received the prestigious President’s Award from Toyota for dealership excellence in customer satisfaction for the 26th year in a row — it was one of only five dealerships in the country to receive it for 26 years in a row.
Keith Gushard can be reached at 724-6370 or by email at email@example.com.