Valenti in Mystic to get that new dealership smell

Mystic - The Chevrolet section of the Bob Valenti Auto Mall is undergoing a facelift that is expected to cost between $700,000 and $1 million.

Rob Valenti, principal at the Jerry Browne Road dealership, said Tuesday that the ongoing renovations should be completed by June. Improvements by Delta Building Corp. of Essex include new showroom glass, replacement floor tiles, revamped office space and a more comfortable waiting area for repair services.

"We're trying to provide a customer-friendly atmosphere," Valenti said in a phone interview.

Valenti said the 20,000-square-foot Chevrolet facility, built in 1983, has undergone some renovation over the years, but this is the first major makeover. Renovations are being kept within the same building footprint, so no expansion is envisioned.

Valenti said General Motors was offering dealerships incentives for sprucing up their facilities after a year in which new-vehicle sales surged nationwide, hitting the 15 million mark. The auto mall sold nearly 300 Chevys last year, he added.

"The auto industry is on the rise," Valenti said. "A lot of facilities need attention."

Valenti said that in addition to Chevrolet renovations, the auto mall has plans to build a new 17,000-square-foot Volkwagen building that should be completed within a year.

The auto mall, which has both used and new cars and offers lease arrangements, also sells new Ford, Dodge, Toyota and Subaru models.

Valenti said sales are being boosted by good deals and low interest rates.

"A lot of people held off when times were tough," he said. "There's some pent-up demand. ... New cars are doing really well."

l.howard@theday.com

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