Glynn Smith Chevrolet Buick GMC Celebrating 30 Years, Thousands Of “Smiles”

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THE OBSERVER

OPELIKA —

30 years ago, on June 1, 1992, Glynn Smith Chevrolet opened.

Thinking about that time, Roger McCreless, who has been with Glynn Smith since the beginning, described it this way, “We might have been a little nervous. This was a big step.”

Glynn Smith Chevrolet Buick GMC has been an important part of Opelika’s growth for years, providing a supply of dependable vehicles, dependable service and maintaining the ability to flex with market changes.

“Now, 30 great years later, a lot of growth and changes in the auto industry, some changes in ownership, a lot of physical growth at the dealership-including the opening soon of a newly remodeled service area with the ability to service electric vehicles, the opportunity to sell electric vehicles, an addition of a five man drag racing team which is already racking up wins across the country and more big plans for the future, there is a feeling of excited confidence as the 30-year milestone is celebrated,” said Owner Glynn Smith.

The dealership has received numerous General Motors Mark of Excellence Honors as well as Standard of Excellence Awards which involve maintaining a certain level of sales, training and customer satisfaction. Customers have also said they appreciate how they’re treated at Glynn Smith Chevrolet Buick GMC.

“Opelika attracts entrepreneurs with a keen business sense, and Glynn Smith Chevrolet Buick GMC is certainly among those,” said Ali Rauch, president and CEO of the Opelika Chamber of Commerce. “Currently, there are no other car dealerships in Opelika who have been in business for three decades. It is a treasured milestone.”

The dealership was honored again this year — as in multiple past years in a row — by being awarded the Opelika-Auburn News Readers Choice Award for New Trucks and New Cars.

“Glynn Smith and his team have been our Champions the past 30 years … always willing to pay their civic rent in support of everything that is good for our community,” said Opelika Mayor Gary Fuller.

Glynn Smith cares. Glynn Smith Chevrolet Buick GMC contributions have helped thousands of people in Lee County and across the state, including civic clubs, schools, literacy groups, youth sports, law enforcement, hospitals, churches, individuals in need and more.

The Glynn Smith Pledge commits to customers: 1) There is never any pressure to buy. 2) The process is always transparent. 3) A friendly staff is concerned about you. 4) You are guaranteed a great deal.Get ready to smile when you come to Glynn Smith Chevrolet Buick GMC.

Industry Changes

Dealership General Manager Jared Hudson describes some of the changes in the industry.

“The way people buy cars has changed a lot over the years. The role of the local dealership in the shopping process has also changed. Years ago car shopping might have begun with a stop at your local car dealer to get a brochure on the latest Chevy car or truck to take home and dream about as you turned the pages. Then six months or a year later, you made your way out to do some real shopping. At the dealership, you’d ‘walk the lot’ with the sales consultant, looking at the real cars and trucks and checking out all the beautiful colors and features.

“Now, that routine has changed and includes internet research. There’s tons of info available online. You can get photos, videos, reviews, payment calculators, etc. More than 90% of today’s customers use the internet to help them determine what they want. Since COVID-19 hit and the supply chain issues control inventory, the way people buy has changed a lot. Customers can still do the online research. Then, customers are asked to call the dealership and come in to get together and talk about the inventory. Our dealership has very helpful computer software that tells exactly where the vehicles are in the delivery process and when each one will be on-site in Opelika. Customers are told exactly when a certain vehicle will arrive, so they can come and review it for purchase.

“When the call is made to the dealership and the customer comes in and talks numbers with a sales staff member, both sides are together, and when the new vehicle arrives, it is a simple process to finish the transaction or wait for a preferred vehicle.”

Glynn Smith Chevrolet Buick GMC currently has 200 plus vehicles on property, Smith said, with more coming.

“Because of changes in the industry, available inventory can no longer be judged by what is visible on the lot,” Smith said. “This dealership has been very fortunate, even with COVID 19 and the supply chain issues, our business has been very good, just different. Not only is our business different in how we actually interact with our customers, but who our customer base is and what we can provide our customers. With the introduction of internet shopping, we regularly sell to customers not only in Alabama and neighboring Georgia but across the U.S.

E-V models and

Services Available

Glynn Smith Chevrolet Buick GMC offers Chevrolet, Buick and GMC electric vehicles.

“We can handle the vehicles built for the next generation- electric vehicles,” said General Manager Hudson. “Soon, we’ll be opening our brand new 7000 sq. ft. GM service building with a team of experts to service and maintain electric vehicles now and in the future.”

Glynn Smith Chevrolet Buick GMC has available for purchase: the ALL-ELECTRIC 2022 BOLT EV with an EPA estimated 259 miles electric range on a full charge and includes apple car play or android auto, which starts at $32,000.

Other models coming soon include the NEW 2024 CHEVROLET EQUINOX EV set to launch in the Spring of 2023, the ALL- ELECTRIC 2024 CHEVROLET SILVERADO EV — the first ever all-electric 2024 Chevrolet Silverado EV. It is a boundary-breaking truck that is redefining what it means to go all-electric.

 The GMC HUMMER EV — The world’s first all-electric super truck EV (will be offered in a pickup and SUV). With 1,000 horsepower and 11,500 lb. ft. of torque, it has the power and the technology to conquer both on and off-road with extraordinary confidence.

Glynn Smith History

Smith grew up in Douglas, Georgia, where he worked in his father’s service station from age 13 to 20 (most times until 9 p.m. at night). There he gained a general knowledge about cars and hard work. He graduated from Coffee High School and South Georgia College. In 1975, he moved to the Auburn-Opelika area. After finding a place to live, Smith used the $7000 he had left in savings to purchase a couple of inexpensive cars, which he then reconditioned himself and sold for a good profit. Since that worked well, he bought more cars, reconditioned them and sold them.

On April 1, 1976, Smith got a business license to operate a wholesale car business. For the next 6+ years, he sold 15 to 30 cars a month which he reconditioned himself at his home. In 1983, he acquired his first place of business, not a car lot but a location to recondition and wholesale the cars. In 1985, he built a car lot for wholesaling and retailing used cars. At that time, still mostly a one-man show, he was selling 80 to 100 units per month, mostly wholesale.

A lot of the trade-ins were being purchased from the local Chevrolet dealer who kept trying to sell the dealership to Smith. In June of 1992, Smith bought the Chevrolet dealership and renamed it Glynn Smith Chevrolet. Prior to the purchase, the dealership had been Kilpatrick Chevrolet, which was originally Tatum Chevrolet.

Because of the success and customer satisfaction scores from Chevrolet, Smith was awarded the Buick/GMC franchise in Opelika in February 2010. As has been its history, Glynn Smith Chevrolet Buick GMC has continued to grow.

Celebrate Now

On June 1, 2022, from 10 a.m. til noon, Glynn Smith Chevrolet Buick GMC celebrated 30 years of serving East Alabama and West Georgia sales and GM Certified service and parts. The community was invited to be there for the ribbon cutting, chat with Glynn Smith and his experienced staff, enjoyed refreshments and got a peek at the future of this long-term business located at 600 Columbus Parkway in Opelika, exit 62 off of I-85.

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