After months of preparation and wading through the legal and concession processes, the long awaited vision of Mount Vernon car dealer Steve Niswander became a reality as Alexandria Chevy commemorates its grand opening with a ribbon cutting ceremony Friday, July 18.
The event, sponsored by the Mount Vernon Lee Chamber of Commerce, will be held at Niswander’s new dealership at 1800 Old Richmond Highway, formerly the site of Heritage Jeep/Chrysler, which Niswander purchased in April.
Three years ago Niswander’s Alexandria Buick Pontiac GMC opened on the corner of Pickett Street and Edsall Road. “I felt the community was being underserved, Niswander said. By August 2006, the dealership had claimed the number one spot for sales in the Washington area among Buick Pontiac GMC franchises. It did so again in 2007, with a 58 percent jump in sales over the previous year. In December, Niswander opened his fourth GM franchise, Saturn of Alexandria, previously owned by Lindsay Automotive.
Service is our greatest area of focus, Niswander said. It is one thing to be good in sales, but we want our customers experience after the sale to be even better. GM has earned back the trust of the public…I have a lot of personal pride in our products.
Along with good ol’ American GM pride Niswander wears on his sleave, Niswander said the new dealership also takes much pride from being in Alexandria, where about 80 percent of its sales are generated. He implores the staff to get involved with the Alexandria community.
John Herrity, his director of business development, serves on the boards of the Alexandria Sportsmans Club, the Alexandria Aces, the YMCA of Alexandria and the Campagna Center’s business advisory council. Herrity is also involved with the Alexandria Chamber of Commerce and the Alexandria Rotary Club. “It’s just good business,” Herrity said. “A lot of people in this community don’t know that GM is a leader in building cars with 30 MPG or better.”
Niswander agreed. I thought it was a good opportunity, a good business opportunity, he said. It proves that people in Alexandria love American cars.