The new Toyota of Olympia, located at 6969 Tyee Drive in Tumwater, opens June 1 and will blow any preconceived notion about what a car dealership should be right out of your mind. Situated on 22 acres, it’s so big, you may feel like you are driving up to a theme park. The building itself is almost 94,000 square feet, which is close to double the size of their current location. What’s the catalyst behind the big move? It’s all for their customers, the team says.

“We want to serve our customers the best we can,” says Carol Peebles, customer relations manager and executive assistant to general manager/owners. “In order to do that, we need to move locations – we have just outgrown our current one. The old location at 2225 Carriage Drive SW in Olympia was a mere five acres with hardly any parking for customers, none for employees and very little room for inventory.”

Toyota of Olympia
Originally spread over three lots in Olympia, these Toyota cars, trucks and SUVs fit comfortably in just one section of the new property. Photo credit: Kristina Lotz

The current location also didn’t allow enough space for their large inventory of new and used cars, so they ended up with vehicles spread out on three additional lots. This, of course, was inconvenient for both customers and staff.

“If someone wants a certain car, we might have to go look for it on up to three different lots,” explains Joe McCorkle, general manager for Toyota of Olympia. “So this meant our customers were having to wait while a salesperson went to fetch the car and that’s not okay with us. We want the customers to get the car they want, quickly.”

The dealership’s staff is excited about the move, which is driven by their consistent growth and need for more space to help serve their customers the best way they can. “The move will not only be more convenient to customers, but to our staff as well, who sometimes have to park a mile away,” adds Peebles.

Service is Foremost

Extensive training is in place to ensure every team member can perform their role to the best of their ability and it’s part of their philosophy: “Hiring great people, taking care of great people and delivering a world-class level of service and an experience that is different and more unique than anything else in the automobile industry,” says McCorkle.

Toyota of Olympia Old Lobby
The current lobby was not small, but could still get crowded on a busy weekend. The dealership has been known to sell 54 cars in just two days. Photo credit: Kristina Lotz

And this shows in the way they do business. Their philosophy means they look out for their customers – making sure they don’t miss any deals, such as rebates, with the end result of making sure they sell you the car for less than anyone else could.

This is something the entire team at Toyota of Olympia embraces and clearly it works. In just over three years, the dealership has grown from selling 1,500 cars a year to over 4,000 a year, making it the sixth largest dealership in a five-state region.

But of course the price of the car is just one piece of the puzzle. We all know what car buying is like – most of us would rather have a root canal than go to a car dealership. Even McCorkle himself says he’d rather have a root canal than buy a car (unless it’s at his dealership of course). The entire team at Toyota of Olympia is passionate about changing the way people see car buying. As owner Dustin Rotter says, “We want to put the fun back in buying a car.”

New Lobby
The new lobby is still being completed, but the giant murals, high ceilings and bright lighting are just a hint of what is to come at the new Toyota of Olympia. Photo credit: Kristina Lotz

And they do.

They had a customer come back and buy three different trucks because he couldn’t find one that felt “comfortable” to him. They just kept working with him until he found the right fit.

From driving as far as Aberdeen and Seattle for pick-ups or drop-offs, to making sure customers have all the information they need to be an informed buyer – even if the person doesn’t buy a car from them – Toyota of Olympia’s first priority truly is people.

They know they are succeeding by the feedback they get. Shaena Langley, general sales manager, says customers come in, call or even text to tell them how happy they are with their car and the service they received. One customer even brought in homemade apple cobbler as a thank you. Another gave the salesmen who helped them personalized glass mugs with the Toyota logo.

Recently, a customer came to their lot and spied a trade-in that was bound for the auction. The customer wanted the car, even though they told her it was headed to auction and not something they would normally sell. But she still wanted it and they sold it to her. Before she left she asked them, “If the transmission goes out in two weeks what are you going to do?” The response from Toyota of Olympia was simple, “We’ll replace it.” Well, she came back almost two weeks later and told the team, “Guess what, you get to do what you said you would.” And they did. They gave her a loaner car and replaced the transmission, no charge.

Their motto is, “Always do the right thing and always do what you say you will.” McCorkle gives his team the freedom and autonomy to do whatever they believe is necessary to please the customer and have fun.

Service center
The soon-to-be-finished service center can accommodate more cars and is built with convenience in mind so that appointments take less time. Photo credit: Kristina Lotz

This includes building a brand-new facility just to serve customers better.

The new facility was built with comfort and convenience for the customer as top priority. Customers can expect the same world-class service in a facility that will be even more accommodating, including things never before seen at a car dealership. Stay tuned for more details and a sneak peek inside the new facility in a “virtual tour” article coming soon.

The new Tumwater location will offer new and used cars, service and parts. The current location on 2225 Carriage SW in Olympia will become a used car supercenter featuring a full inventory of used cars (various makes/models) and certified pre-owned Toyotas.

For more information, visit the Toyota of Olympia website or call 360-539-3939.


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