Car dealership Servco Pacific has that clean new-building smell
THE AUTOMOTIVE division of Servco Pacific Inc.
can take a little of the credit for Hawaii's No. 10-in-the-nation economic growth ranking.
Servco has spent $8 million renovating the old Toyota City location in Mapunapuna, which opened May 22 as Servco Auto Honolulu.
The company is spending $12 million on Servco Auto Leeward, a new dealership and service center in Waipahu, and will spend "a couple million" to remodel the old Kaimuki Toyota, said Rick Ching, senior vice president of auto retail.
It's not as if the company can make it all back by tacking costs onto the Toyotas, Suzukis, Chevrolets and other makes it sells -- it has to stay competitive.
"I don't think we'd change our pricing because of our facilities," said Ching.
They just needed makeovers, "to bring them up to the level of the industry, if not jump ahead."
Only the shell of Toyota City was kept. Otherwise, the expanded dealership and service center, with an 11,000-square-foot showroom, has been redone to reflect its inspiration, an elegant island home.
"We are in the hospitality business," said Mark Fukunaga, Servco chairman and chief executive officer. "Our first job is to welcome customers and make them feel comfortable."
Like many new high-end homes that evoke older isle style, the new dealership includes techno-features such as wireless and DSL Internet access in a lounge with a coffee bar.
Shoppers' children get a play area with toys, games and a big-screen TV for Arthur or Barney or Curious George (and just maybe the big game, sometimes).
Servco Auto Honolulu is now home to more than 160 employees, including those moved for the renovation of Kaimuki Toyota.
Servco Insurance Services is also on-site, offering auto coverage for the shiny new rides.
is a reporter with the Star-Bulletin. Call 529-4747, fax 529-4750 or write to Erika Engle, Honolulu Star-Bulletin, 500 Ala Moana Blvd., No. 7-210, Honolulu, HI 96813. She can also be reached at: firstname.lastname@example.org