Edie Cohen | March 01, 2012
Embracing the equation design equals sales, Brown practically rebuilt the place, all 30,500 square feet. "It had to knock people's socks off," he says. An exterior face-lift entailed signage, glazing systems, a rubber roof, and landscaping. The real overhaul occurred inside, setting the stage for the cars in their gasoline-saving glory. "We looked at the buying experience and found that the biggest negative was taking customers to back offices," he notes. Small, dark ones at that. Accordingly, he concentrated on openness for the showroom, where a canopy in Chevy's signature cobalt blue diffuses light from ceiling fixtures, casting a blue tint on the floor's slate-gray tile. Only the president and the finance personnel have bona fide offices. Two managers oversee operations from a shared maple desk; sales associates have modular panel workstations mere feet from the vehicles-and the customers. Aerodynamically curved partitions of corrugated, perforated aluminum map out the three waiting areas. They include a complimentary coffee bar, Pit Stop.