Chamber hosts ribbon cutting for recently opened O’Reilly Auto Parts
Published 8:00 am Tuesday, October 27, 2015
Local business and government leaders assembled inside the confines of the Dowagiac’s newest auto parts dealer to officially welcome the business into the community Monday morning.
The Greater Dowagiac Chamber of Commerce hosted a special ribbon cutting ceremony for the recently opened O’Reilly Auto Parts, located next to Heartland Auto and Honor Credit Union on M-51. Among those welcoming the national auto parts chain to Dowagiac that morning were Chamber President Kim MacGregor, Mayor Pro Tem Leon Laylin, City Councilmember Jim Dodd and Mayor Don Lyons.
Representing the store that morning was Manager Amador Cortez and Assistant Manager Donald Brown. The two briefly explained to the store’s guests about the services the chain provides customers, which, in addition to selling thousands of different automotive parts, includes battery testing, fluid recycling, wiper blade installation and other services for customers, they said.
The store has been celebrating its grand opening for the last two weeks, which culminated in Monday’s ribbon cutting. The store had a soft opening in late September, and saw a strong response from the community out of the gate, Cortez said.
“We’ve been doing pretty good,” he said. “Business has been picking up, steadily but surely.”
The store currently employs eight people, including Cortez, he said. The company refers to its employees as “team members,” which is a reflection of the close-knit attitude the staff has when it comes to supporting customers — and each other, when necessary, Cortez said.
“We try to come together as a family,” he said.
While the store isn’t looking to do any additional hiring at the moment, they could be adding more team members following the winter season, Cortez said.
O’Reilly Automotive Inc. is one of the largest specialty retailers of automotive aftermarket parts, tools, supplies, equipment and accessories in the United States, serving both personal and professional markets. Founded in 1957 by the O’Reilly family, the company operates over 4,200 stores in 42 states.
What separates the chain from its competitors is its focus on customer service, with staff going above and beyond to assistant shoppers in locating their vehicle needs — even for car models that have long since ceased manufacture, Cortez said.
“We will turn over any stone to try and find you the right part, for the right price,” he said.