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iBerkshires.com Columnist Section

Sue Bush
More articles from Sue Bush

Gateway Chevrolet: "We Are Friends And Neighbors"

02:24PM / Monday, May 07, 2007

The "New Way At Gateway" Service Team: from left, Matt Trombley, Service Department Manager Stacey Cantoni, and Dennis Wandrei
North Adams - The service team at Gateway Chevrolet, 69 Union St., operates with a can-do approach, said the dealership's General Manager Hugh Daley.

"We have a 'never say die' attitude,'" Daley said. "We're very dedicated."

"Where We Shine"

Service technicians Ray Kellerman and Rick O'Neill lead the tech team, and have a combined 55 years of Chevrolet repair service beneath their fingers. Kellerman's skills have a 32-year legacy while O'Neill's tenure at the sprawling downtown dealership covers 23 years.


Gateway Chevrolet General Manager Hugh Daley
And with every vehicle evolution, Kellerman and O'Neill spent hours familiarizing themselves with the latest General Motors technologies, said Daley.

"When you've been a tech for 32 years, 23 years, that means you've committed yourself to a lifetime of learning," he said. "And that's a real interesting thing."

Gateway Parts Manager David Barbeau utilizes a parts library that's "incredible," Daley said.

"Hard to find parts, that's one area where we shine," he said.

Lifetime Relationships Built On Trust

Another integral component of Gateway's customer services is a willingness to sit down with vehicle owners and identify situations precisely, Daley said.

"We are trying to generate lifetime relationships," he said."We want people to feel comfortable sending their kids in to buy, sending their grandkids in to buy."

"We want them to feel comfortable sending their kids and grandkids in here for repairs, too," said Service Manager Stacey Cantoni. "We diagnose [a problem]. We provide estimates, but we don't 'create' problems that don't exist."

Gateway service technicians from left, Ray Kellerman and Rick O'Neill. Kellerman has 32 years experience at the Chevy dealership; O'Neill has been at the business for 23 years.


Gateway employees are more than simply a workforce; the sales force, technicians, office workers and support staff are Northern Berkshire residents who are involved in community events, youth sports programs, and other activities.

"When people head out to Albany [N.Y.] for service or to buy, the people out there expect to see you once," Daley said. "That's a big area with thousands of people, if they lose one or two because something wasn't right, they don't feel it. We expect to see you at places other than here. We expect to see you in the supermarket, on the street, at community events, and we want to make sure that all our encounters are pleasant."

"We don't just see people as customers. Our customers are our community. We live here."

A trusting relationship with a dealership and a service department is extremely important because the technology behind vehicle operation and repair has become so advanced, Daley said.

Computers On Wheels

"Cars now are basically computers on wheels and it's good to have a strong relationship with your technician, to know you can trust the work," Daley said.


A 2007 Chevy Equinox in black and a 2007 Chevy Aveo in red are among the many vehicles ready for test driving at the Gateway Chevrolet.
The city venue is now the only Chevrolet dealership in Berkshire County. The business launched in the 1940s as Shapiro Chevrolet and during the early 1980's, the business became Donohue Chevrolet. The Gateway moniker has stood tall on the street since 1993, Daley said.

"We try to be aware of the challenges that face Chevy customers from Great Barrington, Stockbridge, and we try to be helpful," he said.

The dealership offers in-house rental cars and has a shuttle service for customers whose vehicles are being repaired.

Servicing Late Model To Vintage Treasures

The repair shop rate is $70 per hour and that is very competitive, Daley said.

"We're within 10 percent of the independent shops around the area and we are among the lowest priced of the dealers," he said.

Vintage, older, and late-model vehicles are welcomed at the service center; on May 7, a 1970s-era Corvette was in the garage as were vehicles made in 2002. The service shop boasts a multitude of service manuals that cover decades of vehicle make and model.

"Cool" Cars Need Cool Quarters

An on-site vehicle, boat, and recreational vehicle [RV] winter storage facility has proven very popular, Daley said.

The large storage arena is very dry, very clean, and the interior temperature hovers around 40 degrees during the winter months - darn near perfect for vehicle storage, he noted.

"You don't want a lot of humidity because you can wind up with mold issues and you don't want things too cold, either," he said. "This has worked out very, very well. This winter we had about 10 Corvettes in here, and it was a lot of fun."

Storage rates are $500 per vehicle for automobiles and $25 a foot for boat and RV storage.

Long-time vehicle salesman Donald Gaffey maintains part-time and by appointment hours at the dealership, and is a Yankees baseball team fan, Daley noted.

"And then we have our sales manager, Wayne Arnold," Daley said with a smile. "He's a Red Sox fan."

"What we all are at Gateway are friends and neighbors. You see us. And your trust is important to us."

The Gateway Chevrolet, 69 Union St. showroom and sales department are open Mon.-Fri. 9 a.m.- 6 p.m., and Sat. 9 a.m.- 4 p.m.. The service department and the parts department are open Mon.-Fri. 8 a.m.- 5 p.m..
Additional information about Gateway Chevrolet is available by calling 413-663-3781 or at a www.chevygateway.com Internet website.

This article is part of a www.iBerkshires.com advertising package. For information about www.iBerkshires.com ad packages, contact Wanda Haley at 413-663-3384 ext. 13 or whaley@boxcarmedia.com .
Your Comments
Post Comment
I just recenetly purchased a vehicle from Gateway Chevrolet and found it to be a very positive expierence. The sales man (Allen Arnold) was wonderful to work with and answered all of my questions and took care of all of the "lose ties" in a very timely manner. I have to say that I would highly recomend this dealership and Allen to anyone car shopping and it is also nice to keep the business in town.
from: A Very Happy Customeron: 05-08 00:00:00-2007


 
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