The new Heartland Motor Company is located at the intersection of State Highways 28 and 9 in Morris. Contributed photo
There’s a simple reason why Heartland Motor Company moved to a new building and location at the intersection of State Highways 28 and 9 in Morris: The Chevrolet dealer outgrew its old site.
The result is a win-win for customers.
verything is brand spanking new at Heartland Motor Company including their service area
Heartland’s new building, which opened Dec. 14, 2015, offers a larger service bay with space for around 40 cars. There are more technicians to service vehicles and a larger detailing department that increased from a one-car bay at the old site to four at the new location.
“In the 1980s, that building was fine because there were about 20 people working here,” said Kyle Athey, Heartland’s Internet and social marketing director. “But we needed more room and employees to meet customers’ needs. We now have almost 40 people working for the company.”
A big screen TV, variety of magazines, complimentary refreshments and comfortable chairs make the larger customer lounge an inviting spot while waiting for vehicles to be serviced.
The drive-through service area itself is high tech. A customer can drive up to the service door entrance where an underground sensor opens the door. The driver doesn’t have to step out of the vehicle. A service employee can schedule the work, and the driver can exit through another automatic door.
Heartland Motor Company also offers loaner cars during their service visit if the customer needs to run errands and provides rides to the customer’s workplace.
“You never have to go outside anymore,” Athey said. “It’s been a definite plus to offer such a service.”
While some of the technology has changed, Heartland remains dedicated to offering good customer service. It’s a commitment the company has had from the start.
Heartland started as Berger Chevrolet in Herman. It relocated to Morris in 1979. Five years later, it merged with Dripps Motor adding the Oldsmobile franchise and, in 1995, Dan Dripps purchased the company from Bud Berger and renamed it Heartland Motor Company.
The business’ target area is 60 to 70 miles, but many customers travel 100 miles or more to purchase a vehicle from Heartland Motor Company.
People have driven in and flown from California, Wyoming and Montana to find the perfect vehicle,” he said. “It’s kind of neat to hear how they found us.”
Brand new detailing area at Heartland Motor Company, in Morris.
Heartland has more than 300 new and used vehicles to choose from, Athey said. All used vehicles receive a 27-point inspection and detailing before they are put on the lot.
Many are repeat customers, but, thanks to the Internet, customers are also looking at Heartland’s web page and social media sites, plus used car sites like CarSoup.com, for vehicles. Athey estimates that around 80 percent of the vehicles are found online.
Heartland’s website includes details on new and used cars and customers can schedule service on their vehicle.
In more than 30 years of serving drivers from Alexandria, Willmar, Breckenridge and beyond, Heartland has learned a thing or two about how to treat a customer right. And Heartland values its position as a local business.
“We work hard to help out our friends and neighbors,” Athey said. “Many years serving the community of Morris means we value our position as a local business. Our Minnesota Chevy dealership participates in a variety of fundraisers to support children in the area, including Toys for Tots, Chevrolet Youth Baseball and Chevrolet Youth Hockey. We also participate in the annual Chevrolet Breast Cancer Awareness fundraisers to help find a cure.”