Orangeburg's Superior Honda dealership celebrated its re-grand opening June 7 following the completion of an extensive remodeling effort.
Orangeburg Mayor Michael Butler said, “They are really expanding their services and giving us more choices. They are committed to Orangeburg and helping the citizens. We really appreciate them."
"I say hats off to them," Butler said. "I hope they will continue to be here and expand. I hope one day they can be annexed into the city."
The remodeling included sales and finance offices and portions of the accounting office, as well as the development of a new showroom.
The effort also included new bathrooms, a customer lounge with a TV, a quiet customer lounge without a TV, a new heating-and-cooling system and the roof.
The floors and walls in the service department were also painted.
"It was more involved than we had anticipated," dealership owner Jimmy Guthrie said. "Honda has different things to make the dealership more functional and more customer friendly."
Guthrie said the dealership now consists of open office spaces and glass.
"It gives customers a feeling of ease," he said.
It also helps dealership staff, Guthrie said. "It allows them to see what everyone is doing and makes sure when someone comes on the lot we don't miss them."
The dealership also has lighter colors and higher ceilings.
The upgrade is a part of Honda's Generation 3 design model, which includes the blue wave entry element seen at Honda dealerships nationally.
The remodeling began in the fall of 2016 and ended in early March 2018.
The dealership remained open throughout the entire process, although employees had to work out of two trailers during the most intense remodeling periods.
Guthrie thanked his employees for the dedication and patience they showed during the entire process.
Prior to the ribbon-cutting, Orangeburg County Chamber of Commerce Chairman David Tussey praised the company for its success.
"You are doing something right and you are doing it well," he said.
Superior Honda, located on 282 John C. Calhoun Drive, is part of the Superior Automotive Group of Orangeburg, commonly referred to as simply Superior Motors. Other divisions include Superior Motors Buick-GMC and Superior Kia.
The three divisions employ 65 people and 21 of those work at Superior Honda.
The dealership includes new Honda models as well as used cars, trucks and crossover vehicles. The dealership also has an on-site service department and parts department.
Guthrie is no stranger to the dealership business.
He has been in the automobile business for about 41 years, following in the shoes of his father, who started in 1960.
He received training at the General Motors Institute in Flint, Michigan, in 1982 and has worked in all areas of the dealership. He became dealer principal of Superior Motors Inc. in 1991.
In 1991, he was awarded a Honda automobile franchise and opened Superior Honda.
In 2015, the dealership and Guthrie received the Orangeburg County Chamber of Commerce Small Business/Person of the Year award.