Archive for Friday, May 28, 2010

Dale Willey Automotive buys Chevy dealership

May 28, 2010


Lawrence will keep its Chevrolet dealership, but it will move to a new spot on South Iowa Street.

Dale Willey Automotive, 2840 Iowa, has bought the Chevrolet dealership from Crown Automotive.

Crown Automotive owner Miles Schnaer sent out a press release Thursday afternoon announcing that he had sold the Chevrolet dealership, but did not reveal the new owner. Schnaer did not return calls for comment.

Jeff Hornbeck, general sales manager at Dale Willey Automotive, confirmed that the longtime Lawrence General Motors dealer had taken over the local Chevrolet franchise. Attempts to gain other comment from the dealership were unsuccessful.

Crown Chevrolet previously had been placed on the list of General Motors dealerships that would not have its franchise agreement renewed as part of GM’s financial restructuring. Schnaer previously said he was in negotiations with General Motors to resolve the future of the dealership.

Crown, 3430 Iowa, will keep its Toyota dealership and its used car operations.


LogicMan 7 years, 12 months ago

Was the logical conclusion to a long story.

otto 7 years, 12 months ago

Dale Willey's parts dept sucks - evidently sold Cadillacs too long, treats the average guy like crap.

Pugmom3 7 years, 12 months ago

Boy that is true. We bought a car there that had a tail light out on it. Told us to bring it back next day and they would fix it. Guess what no matter what they charged us. Last time we deal there

otto 7 years, 12 months ago

Dale - Thanks for sending more of our potentially local business to KC.

hip_gma 7 years, 12 months ago

That's disappointing to hear. Never liked dealing with Dale Willey. They'll have to make major changes to measure up to the service I've received from Crown over the years.

cowboy 7 years, 12 months ago

Had a very bad experience with that service dept !

Zachary Stoltenberg 7 years, 12 months ago

I was a long time Crown customer, my wife and I both own Chevy's and we went there for all our parts and service. I am a confirmed Dale Wiley customer from here on out after a disastrous last experience. I brought my truck in last January to get the rear brakes replaced and have them look at a check engine light. $350 later the brakes were fixed but the light was still on. According to crown it was an emissions warning and would require an $85 gas cap. I bought a replacement at O'Riley for $18. Then at the beginning of March, the brakes started squeaking like the pads were worn out. Need I remind you this is two months after the new ones were put on. I brought it back to Crown and they discovered the drums had never been turned and the new pads were shot. They turned the drums and replaced the brakes and still charged me for parts. It was only a few bucks but it should have been free. They still didn't address the check engine light. After 3 days, yup 3, they finally got back to me about the light and told me it was a bad head and would require the engine to be taken apart and a new gasket and head installed. Then they said they couldn't get to it for two weeks. When I asked them what I was supposed to do for two weeks the repair department manager actuall said "take it to another GM dealership." At the end of this whole fiasco Miles Schnaer was walking through to leave for the day (at 4:00 in the afternoon) and asked me how it was going. I told him not so great since this was my second time back and my problem still wasn't fixed and would require a third trip as well. He responded "Third times a charm!" Smiled, and walked out. I drove across the street to Dale Wiley, had an appointment the next day, and found out everything Crown said was wrong. All I needed was a throttle body cleaning and an oil change. I was in and out in one day and under $300. The truck is still running great and my faith in a local dealer is restored. Calling this morning to see if I can get my wife's car in too.

xdcr 7 years, 12 months ago

I've used both Crown and Dale Willey over the years. I've pulled up to the service door at Crown at 7:20 a.m, (they opened at 7:30, an employee can out of the south door and as soon as he saw me he ran back inside and locked the door. They opened the overhead door at 7:30. -- I've pulled up to the door at Dale Willey at 6:30 a.m. (they opened at 7:00) the overhead door opened, they did the paper work and I headed to work. Guess where I buy and have my vechicles serviced. If I've had a problem they have taken care of it. I have no comlpaints, and have bought several cars, pickups,and company vans over the years. Needless to say, I think this is an awesome thing.

Mangino_saurus 7 years, 12 months ago

This comment was removed by the site staff for violation of the usage agreement.

slowplay 7 years, 12 months ago

No competition? Every car dealership from Topeka to KC is the competition.

Bought my last car from Willey. They have been good to me. No complaints.

CLARKKENT 7 years, 12 months ago



purplesage 7 years, 12 months ago

With the proliferation of available brands of automobiles, the choices of where to buy them continue to decrease. I've never had experience with Dale Willey or Crown (have looked at vehicles on their lots, never purchased though), but Clark and Noller have been unsatisfactory, especially the service departments. In my experience, the best Lawrence car dealer, in terms of honesty, backing his product, is the used car place, Johnny I's.

Mike Hatch 7 years, 12 months ago

For every great story about most any dealership/car repair place, there's another that's going to be horrible. People go with where they've had good service. Over the years, I've dealth with Willey and Crown and while not a huge fan of either, neither are as awful as the service department at Ford. I don't take any of my cars in to any dealership anymore for repairs, take it to Harris instead. Or Dale & Rons.

Laird Noller story: 2 years ago, drivers side window won't roll up. Take it into Ford, needs a new regulator. Was told the part was ordered, would be 'a few days' for the part to arrive. All said and done, would be about $400. Gave it a week. Called, nope, part not in. That's it. Gave it another week, same answer. Decided to cut bait at that point, bought one off of eBay motors and the guys at the Autoglass place put it on for me...part, shipping and labor came to about $75. F i v e months later, yes 5, I get a call from Laird Noller advising my part was in and wanted me to schedule an appointment. I just had to laugh. Told them I'd had it fixed months ago.

Mike Hatch 7 years, 12 months ago

Oh, and Laird Noller repair department was "too busy" to fix it so that at least my window was up in a stationary position. I bought that car there. Didn't matter. The guys at the autoglass place got it positioned up for me in about 15 minutes, charged me nothing to do it too.

CrownLawrence 7 years, 12 months ago

If you would like more information on what's going on, view this video from our owner Miles Schnaer, or give us a call at 843-7700.

Zachary Stoltenberg 7 years, 12 months ago

I'll get back to you in three days and it's probably going to cost about $350 for me to give a damn.

2girls28 7 years, 12 months ago

no thanks- last 2 times I called you put me on hold then try back later because everyone was really busy. Drove to Olathe and bought a car - sorry!

gh7931 7 years, 12 months ago

I have had dealings with both dealerships and the latest I bought a new 2008 Pontiac Torrent and it had ignition problems key wouldn't turn. It was taken to Crown and they wouldn't even look at it reason GM wouldn't cover warranty issues. Took it to Dale Wiley and they had it for 2 days and I was informed that there was nothing wrong with it they had never heard of this problem. This is after being stranded 5 times and after calling Dale Wiley to be told to bring it in when it happened again. HOW DO YOU TAKE IT IN WHEN IT DOESN'T START? I finally got so upset I called Detroit. They found me a dealership to help me but it was in Topeka. In less than 24 hours they found and fixed the problem via a Service Bulletin (did not exist according to Dale Wiley) . I would love to shop Lawrence but after these experiences I would never buy a vehicle in Lawrence. The dealers here need to be more interested in servicing their customers eventually people will tire of being spaced off and will go where you feel they care.

Chris Golledge 7 years, 12 months ago

My wife had a bad experience at Dale Willey in 1988. We gave them a second chance in 2003. They failed again. Didn't even look at them the last couple of purchases.

ihatelv 7 years, 12 months ago

Crown sucked! Dale fixed my truck after crown charged me for a lot that I didn't need, and didn't even fix my problem. Argued, paid, went to drive off and the truck wouldn't even start. Jumped it and drove right to Dale. Identified the real problem in 5 minutes.

LogicMan 7 years, 12 months ago

Just drove by DW -- they need to buy the car wash just to their North to expand their lot for the chevys. Hopefully, too, to expand/improve their service and parts departments due to the comments above.

whats_going_on 7 years, 12 months ago

another string of random words, way to go.

CLARKKENT 7 years, 12 months ago


thebigspoon 7 years, 12 months ago

He bought ther car wash already a year or so ago. The guy has a lease on the car wash for another year or two. Then he wants to expand his used car operation over there.

LogicMan 7 years, 12 months ago

"He bought ther car wash already a year or so ago. The guy has a lease on the car wash for another year or two."

Thanks for the information. That frontage is too valuable for just used cars, better for the new chevys. Now he needs to buyout the guy's lease.

If anyone has some land for a car wash, now's the time to approach this operator. And he's also going to need a contractor to build/move.

BigAl 7 years, 12 months ago

Maybe I am just lucky but I have had good luck at both Laird Noller and Dale Willey. I would recommend either one. I absolutely wouldn't take my money out of town. I support those that support me, my family and my town.

md 7 years, 12 months ago

I do not take a car to a dealer for non warranty work. Saved lots of money this way. Things like brakes and window regulators are easy to work on.You can find tech bulletins on the net. Study up a little to know what they are talking about. Demand your old part back. If it is not fixed don`t pay for it. When your light comes on go somewhere like auto zone for a free reading.

cowboy 7 years, 12 months ago

My daughter bought a used car a few years ago , I'm a pretty good mechanic , went over it thoroughly , we needed a new key remote and my daughter and wife took it over to wiley service. We just needed a remote programmed , they took the car and put it on a lift. Free inspection. Came back telling the daughter and wife there was an oil leak , and it needed front end part that about to break it was so loose. Told them it could go off the road in the ditch at any moment. Quoted over 950 dollars for the work. Hysterical wife calls me and wants this work done. I told her you get out of there now and come home. wife is absolutely believing this line of BS. My Pop-in-law was a master mechanic. Taught me all the things you need to check on a used car and how to do it. I went over that car with a fine tooth comb. There was not a drop of oil on this engine , the steering was as tight as could be. It was a complete ruse. To satisfy my hysterical wife I had to take it to my local mechanic to verify it. I should have reported this but didn't . I can't say if it was a mechanic problem or a service manager problem but taking advantage of women is a problem. I'd never set foot in that place.

purplesage 7 years, 12 months ago

Laird Noller: 1. Took a car in with a bad starter relay. They charged for a "complete" dianostic instead of just verifying the problem. 2. Took a car in for warranty work. They called; need brakes on all 4 wheels and a clutch in addition to the work. The rear brakes were brand new as was the clutch. Both were still in service when I traded it off 40K - 50K later. 3. Daughter and son in law got an estimate to replace a clutch on a little Mercury. The Topeka version of Laird Noller did the job and refused to honor their estimate, ran the price up several hundred dollars. Dropped it part way back to the original after extensive dispute.

Jim Clark: Took a Chrysler minivan with an AC problem in, waited about 45 minutes for the service writer. He looked at the van for 3-5 minutes and came back with a lengthy list of hoses, condenser, evaporator, etc. stating that it was leaking in multiple places. I left. Took the van to Gladstone Dodge where they found a single hole in one part which took care of the problem.

Recommend Johnny I's, Varco Motors in Denison, Bob's in North Lawrence. Mostly good experience with Automotive Electric, too.

kansasmutt 7 years, 12 months ago

The reason for the bad service in Lawrence is the pay scale for techs.A dealership charges $90.00 an hour and the tech who is trained to fix the car makes $15.00 to $20.00 an hour. The tech spends $40,000.00 on tools and the dealerships dont pay squat. Most all the good techs have left the dealers and are in the independant shops now. The rule of thumb pay scale is 1/3 of the hourly rate is what a tech should be paid , per flag hour. The dealerships in Lawrence are the lowest paying in the nation. I worked in a couple ( lawrence dealers) years ago and went to Topeka and made $6.00 more per flag hour and was happy and cared more about my customers.If a tech is under paid, the work will not be as good, that is a fact. Here is the differance. Lawrence tech makes $37,500.00 a year. Topeka and KC techs make $65,000.00 to $100,000.00 a year. This allows them to buy more tools to do the job and they love there job and customers. If you polled techs in Lawrence, you wouldnt find 2 out of 10 that like where they work. If you want a good tech and good service, visit an independant shop and ask for tech who is schooled in your issues of needed repairs. Remember this, ask for an estimate in writting and a call if it is going to be more.

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