Tim Lally Chevrolet has served the Greater Cleveland area for 80 years, built on a business philosophy that is now being carried on by a third generation.
While attending college, Mike Lally conceptualized what his ideal car dealership would look like, what amenities it would have and how it would further his grandfather and father’s philosophy of putting the customer first. His vision became reality in March 2000 with the opening of his dealership.
“We have 100 clean, beautiful cars indoors. We have a service area with a very large waiting area with a flat-screen TV, a three-story McDonald’s-style play area, 28-seat DVD movie theater, an arcade and WiFi Internet service.” One surprisingly popular added benefit? “We have a manicurist. I thought that this would be popular with our female clients, but it’s turned out to be something equally popular with our male customers,” he admits.
The bottom line for Lally is about always helping the customer. “Everything we do may take time. We know that. We also respect our customers’ time. We have created this environment because we want to make the experience more pleasant for them.”
But, what if the “boss” is looking for a used car? Not surprisingly, the Lally philosophy is pervasive throughout the dealership. Two used-car managers are on hand to ensure that everything possible is done to locate the car their customers want. And, while there are 150 to 200 used cars on the lot at any give time, if the “right” car isn’t there, they’ll find it.
With the dream in place and the philosophy of the customer being the boss always in the forefront, it’s no wonder Tim Lally Chevrolet has twice been named Chevrolet’s Top Customer Satisfaction Dealer in the nation by General Motors. “It’s amazing,” Lally says. “We’re very proud of that.”
“Our focus is on our customers,” Lally says. “I don’t want to just sell them a car. I want to sell them every vehicle they purchase for the rest of their lives. We do everything we can to make the boss happy.”
Name: Tim Lally Chevrolet
Address: 19000 Rockside Road, Bedford
Phone: (440) 232-2000; 1-800-603-3454
Web site: www.timlally.com
Showroom hours: Mon-Thu: 9am-9pm; Fri and Sat: 9 am-6pm; Sun: noon-5pm
Service and Parts hours: Mon-Fri:7:30am-6pm; Sat: 7:30am-4pm
Most popular models: Tahoe, Trailblazer and soon the Silverado. “They offer cutting-edge technology. They’re large vehicles with tremendous fuel economy,” says Mike Lally. “They are the fuel leaders in their class and they’re capable of running off flex fuel.” (Flex fuel is an 85 percent ethanol-based fuel derived from corn that’s popular in other markets but not currently available in the Cleveland area.)
Favorite model: Corvette. “I’ve been racing over a decade and have had it up to 200 mph. I’ve competed against some of the most expensive sports cars in the world. It’s a car you can drive every day and it can compete against anything out there,” says Mike Lally.
Favorite feature on Chevrolets: Ability to run on flex fuel
First car: 1975 K5 Blazer
Current car: 2007 Z06 Corvette
What to look for: “A dealer that you’re comfortable with and who has an appreciation for the customer.”
Most important feature: “Having a customer focus.”
Advice: “We have an internal dynamic here. I work for everyone who comes in the door and wants a car. It’s the philosophy of my grandfather Tom and my dad, Tim. We do whatever we can to make our customers happy. They are our boss.”