Surrounded by 500 employees, local dignitaries and a strong representation from the RV industry, General RV President Loren Baidas and Chairman Rob Baidas officially cut the ribbon on the privately-owned dealership’s gleaming new corporate headquarters and retail operations in Wixom, Mich., just across I-96 from its previous location.
Loren Baidas told RVBUSINESS.com that the 98,000-square-foot headquarters is going to make “a drastic improvement in the experience for our customers, and for our employees. It’s a facility that we can call home, hopefully for the rest for General RV’s existence.”
Situated on a 34-acre parcel, the two-story facility includes more than 500 RVs on display, 40 service bays, a drive-through service port, massive parts store and employs more than 200 people. Nationwide, General RV employs about 1,000 workers in its 11 stores located in Michigan, Ohio, Florida, Illinois and Utah. Baidas added that his thoughts include his grandfather Ambrose “Abe” Baidas, who founded General RV in 1962, and his father Dick Baidas, a 2006 inductee into the RV Hall of Fame.
“I think about them every day,” he said. “They are who we are. They are why we’re here and how we got here. If it wasn’t for them this place wouldn’t exist. We talk about them every day to make sure the new employees know who we are and where we came from and what our history is. You can’t have a future without knowing your past. They are a huge driving force of what we do every day.”
Baidas added that the business has been good five months into 2015, especially the towable market. He said motorized hasn’t been doing as well as most anticipated, but “when spring and summer come through I think everybody will be happy with where the market is at.”
The new headquarters and retail operation is located on the former Ford Motor Co. Wixom assembly plant, which opened in 1957 and produced nearly 7 million vehicles on 15 miles of assembly line before halting production in 2007.