Vince Cimino has dreamed of renovating Phil Long Dealership’s Audi franchise showroom above Motor City for most of the nearly 10 years he has headed the luxury vehicle sales and service operation.
The southwest side dealership, now called Audi Colorado Springs, will celebrate completion of the $4.2 million, 11-month project Friday with more than 200 customers and community leaders. The event also will feature the Colorado Springs debut of the Audi e-tron, the German automaker’s first fully electric vehicle, a sport utility vehicle priced between $76,390 and $83,390 that will be available this spring.
“I’m so excited to finally realize this six-year dream of building a facility to better serve southern Colorado,” said Cimino, who is a partner and general manager of Audi Colorado Springs as well as son of Phil Long Dealerships CEO Jay Cimino.
“This is a milestone for us and shows the commitment of Phil Long Dealerships to give customers a facility that will serve them in a more convenient and personalized way. We started by gutting the building while continuing to operate.”
The Audi franchise, then called Phil Long Audi, was struggling with customer service and profitability issues when Cimino arrived and took several years to fix. The Phil Long organization then had to come up with renovation plans that gained approval from Audi, owned by Volkswagen Group. Bryan Construction started the project in March 2018 and completed the work in February.
Cimino said the turnaround was highlighted by awards the dealership received in 2012 from the Audi Club North America in 2012 for hosting its Frank Beddor National Event, an annual nationwide gathering honoring its founder, and from Automotive News in 2014 as one of the nation’s top dealerships as rated by employees.
The renovation included expanding the showroom, replacing all furniture, installing interior and exterior LED lighting and installing two charging stations for electric vehicles.
The showroom was completed in 2005 as part of a plan to build separate facilities for Audi and Mercedes-Benz franchises that had shared the building for the first 14 years after Phil Long Dealerships acquired the Audi franchise.
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