McLarty Daniel Ford in Bentonville is under construction, with a new 46,000-square-foot building going up behind the existing one.
“The facility that we’re in has been operational for over 30 years and so to keep pace with our customer needs and be able to provide the kind of experience that our database is entitled to, we needed to renovate the facility, maximize the space and create some efficiencies so we can better take care of our customers,” said Russ Daniel, managing partner of McLarty Daniel Ford.
McLarty Daniel’s current building is the former home to Ron Blackwell Ford, and was purchased by McLarty Daniel in 2004.
“It’s going to be handicapped-accessible. It’s going to be very modern. It’s going to have all the leading-edge technology so that we can offer an expedited customer experience and make sure that we take care of them in the best way possible,” Daniel said of the new building, an estimated $10 million project expected to be completed in about a year. “It’s going to be a beautiful building.”
Daniel said the building will offer Wi-Fi and a business center with computers that can be used by customers while they wait in the dealership’s service area, which will also be new and improved.
“It’ll have good visibility into the building. Customers will be able to look out into the shop and see their car being worked on,” he said. “Everything in the shop, and of course in the customer write-up area, will be air conditioned and heated so they will be out of the elements for all that kind of deal. The equipment that we’re putting in is all state-of-the-art so it will be faster equipment. Some of the lifts will actually operate faster. Everything will be well organized and clean, and it really should help the customer experience.”
The construction won’t pose interruptions for customers, according to Daniel, though he expects to face a few himself. Large-scale construction projects tend to require attention, with contractors and water and electricity workers on site throughout the process.
“But it’s not something we haven’t done before,” he said. “I’ve built six or seven dealerships.”
Daniel expects the project to bring jobs to Bentonville by employing local contractors now, and by expanding the dealership’s operation after completion. The dealership will employ about 115 people when the new building is finished, as opposed to the 70 who work there now, he said.
“It will allow us to have a footprint. It will allow us to be more of a service to any of the community groups that want to use the facility for meetings or anything like that. It should just enhance the overall customer experience,” Daniel said. “Walmart is building a whole brand new campus and that’s right in line with what we’re trying to do to keep pace with the times and better service our customers.”