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Country Chevrolet: Award-winning autos, available in Annandale
Once upon a time many years ago, Deputy Joel Diers of the Wright County Sheriff’s Department had a dream.
“I always had a goal of owning my own car dealership,” he said.
A lifelong Wright County resident, Diers grew up on a farm near Howard Lake and in 1968, at the age of 18, began chasing that dream, securing his first job in auto sales. A few years later, that would take a back seat to law enforcement as he worked full-time on night patrol, selling cars part-time by day.
In the years before Country Chevrolet in Annandale became available for sale, he admired it from afar, focusing on his work at hand and preparing for future opportunities. Eventually, he went to part-time night work with the sheriff’s department and started selling cars full-time at Gould Bros. in Monticello. When Country Chev was put on the market, Diers was ready to make an offer and took over operations on February 18, 1992. Five years later, in 1997, salesman Patrick Francis would join the business as a partner.
It’s his 44th year selling cars, with 21 of them at Country Chev, and Joel Diers is clearly in his element. The dealership supports 22 full-time and three part-time employees. One, the youngest of Joel an,d wife, Sylvia’s three daughters, is the dealership’s manager, Kristen Salmela.
Consumer Reports kudos
A full-service GM dealership, Country Chevrolet also offers parts and service and detailing, as well as paint-less dent repair for small dings. Business is good, Diers said, and with some 200 new and used models on the lot, selection is even better.
The 2014 Silverado is all new, he reports, re-styled from the ground up. And if you seek no less than the best sedan in its class, look no further than the American-made 2014 Chevy Impala, rated last month by Consumer Reports as the top choice among similar models, including the Audi A6 and Lexus LS 460 L. The Impala scored 95 points out of a possible 100, and also earned the third-highest score overall.
“It’s the first American sedan in 20 years to win,” Diers said. “And we’re pretty excited about that. It just doesn’t happen very often. Face it, Japan had us beat for a few years, but now we’ve got the quality, we’ve got the workmanship to not only compete, but to be the best.”
Open House Sept. 26-28
A major renovation of Country Chevrolet’s showroom, built in adherence to GM’s facility-image standards, has just been completed and includes a new customer lounge, write-up area and restrooms. To showcase the new facility, an open house will be held Thursday, September 26, through Saturday, September 28, which the public is most welcome to attend.
Country Chevrolet is located at 840 East Elm Street, off Highway 55 in Annandale. Sales hours are 8:30 a.m.-7:30 p.m. Monday-Thursday, 8:30 a.m.-6 p.m. Fridays, and 8 a.m.-3 p.m. Saturdays. Service hours are 7:30 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday-Friday, and 8 a.m.-noon on Saturdays. Customers are also invited to shop anytime at www.countrychev.com. More than 60 percent of his business originates on the Internet, Diers said, explaining that car buyers can negotiate a price by telephone, after which the dealership arranges fund transferal, shipping and delivery.
And new or used, online or on the lot, if Country Chevrolet doesn’t have the car you want, the dealership will find it and have it shipped in. Characterizing their business style as “very non-confrontational,” Diers said, “We don’t hassle or pressure our customers. We’re right up front with people when we tell them our prices, and when we appraise trade-ins, we give a fair price.”
Interest rates have never been lower, he pointed out, which also makes this a great time to buy.
“The average age of cars currently being driven on American roads is six to ten years,” he said. “We can offer people something that’s better made, with better fuel economy, and safer, too.”
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