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Marc Heitz Won’t Conform, Sells Dealership

December 27, 2012

NORMAN, Okla. — Marc Heitz Chevrolet is now David Stanley Chevrolet, ending a 12-year run for the operation, a four-year run at the dealership’s current location. The reason: “It had to do with incentive monies and being eligible for rewards within the company,” Heitz told The Norman Transcript.

The company Heitz referred to was General Motors, which required that the dealer change the façade and interior of his store to comply with its facilities standards. Not conforming meant the dealer could not collect quarterly funds related to the company’s Essential Brand Elements program, an initiative kicked GM kicked off in 2010 to get dealers to remodel their dealerships in three years.

Heitz, who completed a $20 million renovation project four years ago to make his store look like a Bass Pro Shops outlet — complete with a working windmill that generated a good part of the dealership’s electricity, a 35-foot waterfall that flows into a 5,000-gallon fish tank stocked with bass, an amphitheater and a children’s playground — refused. He sold the dealership on Dec. 19.

“Marc Heitz Chevrolet in Norman Oklahoma was a magical place, a one-of-a-kind experience,” Jim Ziegler writes in his January column for F&I and Showroom magazine (the full version will be posted online next month). “I was privileged to have been able to see it and work with their sales team and managers in March 2011. Even then, the writing was already on the wall.”

Ziegler also notes in his article that Heitz built his 70,000-square-foot facility, which sits on 14 acres, during the height of the Great Recession in 2008. And the dealer, who began selling cars at 19 years old and was named the 2011 Oklahoma Auto Dealer of the Year by the state dealer association, allowed his store’s amphitheater and adjacent picnic area to be used for community events and fundraisers.

Heitz bought Larry Spencer Chevrolet on Main Street in Normal 12 years ago. He moved the store to its current location four years ago. The dealership is now in the hands of Rob Stanley, which, until the acquisitions, ran two locations in Oklahoma representing five vehicle lines under his David Stanley Automotive Group.

“The community supported us because we support them,” Heitz told The Norman Transcript. “There’s a formula for success in Norman, and it all revolves around support to the local businesses and the local charities and academics … We hope he continues all of that stuff and that Norman continues to support the brand.”

Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Comments

  1. 1. Joe Brown [ December 27, 2012 @ 02:15PM ]

    Best wishes Marc. Sad to see you go. Sorry to see the group that bought you out running that location. Congrats on a great run.

  2. 2. howell clark [ December 27, 2012 @ 02:30PM ]

    something about this just isn't right. i understand brand recognition and all that being a franchise entails for better or for worse but how could a four year old facility, approved by GM at that time, now be so outmoded for their sense of brand that it needs another remodel.

  3. 3. dathan wilson [ December 27, 2012 @ 02:55PM ]

    Marc took a stand that most dealers wouldn't have the courage to take. The whole EBE thing will be gone "LIKE A ROCK" To bad because it penalized alot of smaller dealers along with the ones like Marc Heitz.

  4. 4. Jo Robinson [ December 27, 2012 @ 11:59PM ]

    Another stupid Manufacturer imposing nonsense rules on a beautiful facility! No more GM vehicles for me!!

  5. 5. Derek [ December 28, 2012 @ 08:15AM ]

    It is exactly as is already being said...GM is STUPID! Hands down. "Government Motors", as so many people like to refer to them, has been running their own company into the ground for several years now. I'm glad I no longer work for a GM dealership...I work for a Ford dealership...Ford...a company that didn't need goverment support like GM and Chrysler.

  6. 6. Brad [ December 29, 2012 @ 05:06PM ]

    I bought my last 2 cars and truck from Marc Heitz. Sorry he sold to the Stanley group. Because of that I won't be back

  7. 7. Jim Patrick [ December 30, 2012 @ 08:54AM ]

    I am the owner of an independant used car dealership for 6 years now and this is "exactly" why I tell fellow car associates I choose not to get a new car ticket. Here's a man and his well trained staff who is putting their (GM) product on the street "with" consumer satisfaction and that isn't good enough.....after and approved 20 million dollar renovation!! Absolutely ridiculous.

  8. 8. MARK ANTHONY [ January 21, 2013 @ 10:49AM ]

    I worked for that man for nearly 5 years. Not a day goes by that I dont look back fondly of my time there.Customers were always first and MARC HEITZ IS THE BEST OPERATOR I EVER WORKED WITH. My nineteen years have taken me nationwide,none as professional,or fun as this group. He will be sadly missed...GM DROPPED THE BALL

  9. 9. Mary Reynolds [ January 25, 2013 @ 10:33AM ]

    Last two new trucks bought at Marc Heitz. Bought a new truck from David Stanley before those two. David Stanley won't get our business. May be a Ford in my future in 2015.

 

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