Rodland Toyota Daewoo remodels and expands
By KATHY DAY
EVERETT — Rodland Toyota Daewoo has completed expanding and remodeling two facilities on Evergreen Way.
Besides adding a new Daewoo center at 7125 Evergreen Way, the Toyota dealership down the street was remodeled and service bays were expanded, according to Buzz Rodland, whose family has been in business since 1912.
The first business was selling tires and equipment; used cars came along later, Rodland said. The family started its first new-car dealership with Nash in 1935.
In 1965, his father entered the Toyota business when the car seemed like "just a funny name," Rodland said.
They added the Daewoo line in December and "feel like we’re doing it all over again," he added.
At Rodland Toyota, 6816 Evergreen Way, customer waiting areas got top priority in the remodeling, Rodland said. They now feature a new lounge to seat 30, and also will have computer access stations and a children’s play area. The changes make it the largest customer lounge north of San Francisco, he added.
The expanded Toyota showroom holds 10 vehicles and now has online access and a phone center to make shopping for a car easier. In addition, the service area was tripled in size and diagnostic and customer lanes were totally enclosed.
With the addition of the Daewoo center, the dealership has doubled in size. That facility, which has 10 service bays and features both Daewoo and certified Toyotas.
Rodland said the Daewoo business would not be affected by Wednesday’s announcement that creditors of Korea-based Daewoo Motor Co. officially declared the ailing automaker bankrupt after its labor union rejected a restructuring plan calling for layoffs.
"It’s a complicated matter because, like other Korean companies, it is a government-owned company," he said. He added that he recently talked to a friend who works with Daewoo, who told him "there are smiles all around" because the bankruptcy allows them to restructure union contracts.
Rodland said the company took on the dealership "knowing they were in financial trouble" and were negotiating a purchase by General Motors.
Since then, he added, he’s been impressed by the quality of the cars and amazed at how popular they are in Southeast Asia, a point he noticed during a recent trip there with his wife.
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