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Hi-Tech, Soft Touch, Artistic Flair and More
Clarksville, TN – In the early days of the auto, showrooms like those on Seattle’s Auto Row were replete with bells and whistles. Chandeliers lit up the floors, highlighting each vehicle’s chrome trim.
By 1954, Frank Lloyd Wright had designed a New York City auto showroom that included a spiral ramp and a turntable interior – it was a glistening museum for the Age of the Automobile.Now one of Clarksville’s long-standing automotive pioneers, Jenkins & Wynne, is unveiling a new era of innovation within its state-of-the-art Ford-Lincoln and Honda dealerships and service facilities at 2655 Trenton Road.
In today’s age of the Apple store, adding a profusion of speedy, high-tech details to a dealership can enhance every shopper’s experience, according to experts. Jenkins & Wynne has embraced that belief.
“Our vision is to escape the idea of a typical dealership,” says Casey Jenkins, the dealership’s Internet manager and third-generation auto dealer. “We want to create a welcoming, modern space in which customers can expect a superior experience. At Jenkins & Wynne, customers can examine an abundance of cars due to our massive lots. Their children can have a blast on the playground. Customers can sit and relax in the Internet Bar and Refreshment Area – and perhaps chat privately with a spouse about their next car purchase. And they can learn some Ford history by visiting our monthly rotating exhibit of vintage Fords.”
Casey’s father, Don Jenkins, is the son of the late Vernon Jenkins, who founded the Jenkins & Wynne Lincoln Mercury dealership here in 1953.
He explains, “This new dealership borrows from Apple stores in that it’s more experiential than the average car dealership. It isn’t just cars parked in a big room with white walls and windows. We are using each showroom’s look and design to celebrate the history of automobiles, as well as Jenkins & Wynne’s unique position in Clarksville’s history. Plus, customers will enjoy browsing in a comfortable, stylish setting.”
So in February, Jenkins & Wynne opened the doors to its 41-acre campus that is home to state-of-the art facilities that get down to brass tacks: they are the newest, the biggest, the most sophisticated and illustrate the latest trends in architectural design. In other words, they’re the best.
The three brands – Ford, Lincoln and Honda – are represented through two separate showrooms. There is 65,000 square feet square of combined showroom space for Ford and Lincoln and 44,000 square feet for Honda. Then there is on-site parking for a whopping 1,150 vehicles.
The cutting-edge mix includes a playground, a “pocket museum” that opens in May and will exhibit vintage Ford vehicles for a year, a coffee bar with free Wi-Fi and device-charging stations, free charging stations for electric vehicles and the largest capacity service centers in the area for Ford, Lincoln and Honda vehicles.
“They have a real campus, finally,” says Brad Martin, president of Lyle-Cook-Martin Architects, who was the principal architect on the project and worked with colleague Marshall Duncan, the project architect. “The service center is nicer than anything in town. And I’m not sure I’ve ever seen a playground at a car dealership.”
Perhaps because she is of the Millennial Generation and is a mom, Casey Jenkins brings a touch of comfort and creativity to the business of car sales.
For customers with children, the dealership includes a soundproofed Kids Zone in each showroom where they can view their youngsters from a glassed-in office while working out details of a purchase or service. The Honda Kids Zone includes two Xbox 360s and the Ford-Lincoln Kids Zone includes a stadium theater and two Xbox 360s.
“While parents are browsing the vehicles, they can take a break and watch their children enjoy the playground, which is equipped with slides, monkey bars, ladders and swings,” says Casey. “Or they can watch them hang out in the Kids Zone.”
The Collision Repair Center offers high-tech repairs conducted in a massive space that includes environmentally friendly features. There are also two massive service departments, one for Honda and one for Ford-Lincoln.
“We had these new facilities built with green in mind,” Casey says. “We will reuse the waste oil to heat our service departments, as well as use multiple Kelly fans with 8-foot blades to cool the service areas for our technicians, whose comfort is important to us. We are also committed to delivering efficient and fast service. For example, we have service lifts that will raise and lower a car in 20 seconds each way, when normally that takes a couple of minutes.”
She explains, “These are the only places you can go that will check your front-end alignment and perform a multi-point inspection on your vehicle, then have the results back to you within 10 minutes – and give you a complimentary car wash.”
During inclement weather, customers will never have to be in the elements to get service completed. They will simply drive in through automatically raised and lowered doors. The customer can get out while indoors and walk into any of the waiting areas.
And don’t look for straight-from-the-catalog pennants and ads hanging on the walls.
“We wanted to create the feel of a gallery,” says Frank Lott, partner and creative director of BLF Marketing, who designed the interior visuals. “There are oversize color panels and murals that celebrate the artistic beauty in the details of automotive design through the decades. Automotive design has often set the style trends in many aspects of our culture. We thought it would be fun for customers to enjoy this timeless art.”
As Casey says, “To both longtime fans and newcomers, we are introducing our brand both deliberately and subconsciously through visuals in the showrooms.”
Casey and her father also chose to update the logo, which had been unchanged since the early 1970s. Working with BLF Marketing, she and Don helped drive the logo to its final destination: a heart linked to the words “Jenkins & Wynne” and the tagline of “Love Where You’re Going.”
Those key pieces bring the package together, Casey explains.
“Coming to Jenkins & Wynne is more than a destination,” she says. “It is an experience.”
Formal ribbon cuttings are scheduled on April 21st for Honda and April 22nd for Ford and Lincoln. A Grand Opening Weekend Celebration for customers will take place May 12th, 13th and 14th.
To learn more about the new improvements at Jenkins & Wynne, please visit www.jenkinsandwynne.com
TopicsAPSU, Austin Peay State University, BLF Marketing, Casey Jenkins, Clarksville TN, Don Jenkins, Ford, Frank Lott, Grand Opening, Honda, Jenkins & Wynne, Lincoln, Trenton Road, Wi-Fi, Xbox 360
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