Three-location Southern California dealership Altman’s Winnebago had the grand opening for its expanded and improved facilities in Carson, Calif., last Thursday (April 11).
Altman’s tripled the size of its Carson facility with the addition of a 12,000-square-foot service center, but the project also allowed owner Dave Altman to alter the character of the dealership at that location.
“It became more than just building a service center,” Altman said about the new 13-double bay service center, which is a major part of a $3.5 million expansion project.
Additionally, there was a major redesign of the store’s sales area to include three full-service mock campsites — offering free snacks and beverages at the doorway — and a “time out” area that is off limits to sales staff where customers can go to think. Space also is set aside for more than two dozen units displayed in a show-type environment.
“We looked at the way Lexus, Mercedes, Ritz Carlton, Disney and Nordstrom’s treat their customers, and we have developed a whole experience for customers from the time they arrive all the way through delivery of their RV and subsequent service,” said Altman, whose other locations are in Baldwin Park and Colton, Calif.
Employees also were trained in “Customer First” techniques, he added.
The three locations had sales in excess of $50 million in 2001, and Altman said the expansion is expected to more than double sales at the Carson store to $30 million by next year.
Despite the name, Altman’s is not an exclusive Winnebago dealership. It also inventories new Newmar Class A motorhomes and Teton fifth-wheels, but Winnebago brands account for 80% of company sales.