MOULTRIE -- On Thursday, Ken Isaacs Chevrolet Cadillac officially became Moultrie Chevrolet Cadillac.

The new owners have plans to take the dealership in a new direction.

When Ken Isaacs decided to retire, Greg Douglas, who has worked at Isaacs for 26 years and managed Ken Isaacs Lot No. 2 for years, partnered with longtime family friend Michael Grubbs, owner and operator of a large, successful dry cleaning chain in Florida. Grubbs just moved to Moultrie from St. Petersburg.

Ken Isaacs Chevrolet Cadillac brought in more than $13 million in sales a year. Douglas and Grubbs are hoping to double that. The two plan to maintain the largest Cadillac inventory in a 75-mile radius but are looking to sell more Chevys. In the past year, 188 new Chevrolets were sold in the county. Only 27 of those were sold at Ken Isaacs', Douglas said.

"We plan to recapture that Chevrolet business that has been going elsewhere," he said.

"This store has yet to be maximized," Grubbs said.

The plan is to exceed customers' expectations and make their new slogan "simply the best" a consistent reality.

Already, the service and body business has improved, Grubbs said, with the return of parts and services manager Guy Stripling plus additional technical personnel.

Several changes in management have occurred. Jeff Krizan is the new general manager, bringing more than 19 years of experience. Maury Jackson is the new body shop manager. No one was fired, Douglas said, but several chose to move on.

Moultrie Chevrolet Cadillac also aspires to be the employer of choice in the local auto sales business. Douglas and Grubbs are now offering a benefits package where once there was none.

"Some of the good technicians here and some of the good sales people cut their teeth here and learned the business left to go on elsewhere for the benefits for their families," Douglas said.

"I think as people come in and do business with us, visit our services department, visit our parts department, they'll see a new attitude and a new direction of things," he said.

"We're the customer's advocate, not the customer's adversary," Grubbs said.

Stripling has a solid background in servicing imports and has 26 years of experience as a service manager. He is in the process of bringing up the caliber of the service department by guaranteeing all technicians will be certified. Speaking to the pocketbook, the new dealership intends to be more competitive in servicing and make it a more vital, profitable arm of the dealership.

"Everybody's scared of dealerships because of the prices. We're changing that," Stripling said. "We want people to trust us and believe in us."

Look for the dealership to become more community-oriented. Already, it is joining the chamber of commerce. The new dealership wants to become active within the community by offering its grounds to kids' social and service clubs to throw cash washes. Staff will be encouraged to join civic groups.

"Let's be an asset to the community," Grubbs said.

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