Skip to content

Creative Urban Dealers

October 16, 2012

Dealerships in urban environments have to be extra creative with limited space. Below are some great examples of dealerships making use of every inch, and doing so in style, as reported by Kicking Tires. Take a look…

Urban Car Dealers Get Creative


In most of the country, the car dealership is a standalone building on a strip of road. Sometimes it’s a road lined with dealer upon dealer so shoppers don’t have to go far if they’re cross-shopping. In recent years, these “storefronts” have grown to gigantic proportions with upscale showrooms and service waiting areas with cappuccino machines and free Wi-Fi. The industry has a term for this: the “dealership as destination.”

But what about dealerships in the big city? When you think of a city like New York or Chicago, car dealerships don’t usually come to mind. Urban density makes creating a dealership you want to visit a lot harder without the luxury of suburban sprawl to build on.

We found three such dealerships around’s Chicago offices, and the results made for some innovative facilities tucked into urban Chicago, which tied Miami for the fifth-priciest U.S. city in Mercer’s 2012 cost-of-living survey. Check them out below.

Mini of Chicago

Open since June 2011, Mini of Chicago’s glass-panel showroom is tucked just east of a parking lot where you can shoehorn around 100 Minis two deep without obstructing the dealership’s 21 service bays. The showroom sports 25-foot ceilings, yellow end tables and a Chicago Blackhawks oil painting. Given the location – just over a mile south of Wrigley Field – foot traffic is huge.

“We have a ton of dogs come in,” General Manager Steve McDonald says. “We actually have a water dish out front.”

The 28,000-square-foot property used to be a Saab-Lincoln-Mercury dealership, and McDonald says the brick-lined service area carries over. One of the biggest challenges is finding test-drive routes around the dealership’s urban environs. Salespeople take customers 1.6 miles east to Chicago’s Lakeshore Drive, but traffic often puts a fast kibosh on much fun.

That’s OK, McDonald chuckles. His easiest sales tactic to sell a Mini to a Chicagoan: “You just pull it into a really tight parking spot.”

Mini of Chicago

Mini of Chicago

Mini of Chicago

Mini of Chicago

Mini of Chicago

Next: Mercedes, Fiat


No comments yet

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: