Blake Greenfield is the new owner of Spring Valley Chevrolet, and he believes, “If it aint broke, don’t fix it.” That philosophy applies to his staff, and to the services they provide. But on the other hand, if your vehicle is broken, Blake and his crew can almost assuredly fix it. The car dealership has been continuously operated at this location (at the intersection of Highways 16 and 63 in Spring Valley) for longer than most can recall. The Zeimetz brothers (from Elma, Iowa) bought it in 1971, and ran it successfully for over 45 years, selling it to Blake in December of 2016.
Blake says, “Almost four years ago, I had purchased the Chevrolet Buick store in Wells (Minnesota), and I bought that from the Hinckley brothers. So I’ve been doing that for four years. And a few years back, Roger and I got to know each other doing the dealer trades. So we got to know each other over the phone that way… And then when he and Zip were ready to sell, they contacted me.”
But Blake says he is very pleased that Roger and Zip Zeimetz are still on his crew. “We bought the store from Zip and Roger; I guess we took possession in December of last year. Under normal circumstances, they’re still working here most days. They do take some time off, because they’re wanting to do more retirement things, but it’s still in their blood,” stated Blake, and he hopes they continue sharing their expertise for a long time. He added, “It’s been a lot of fun. Roger won’t admit it, but I still learn a lot from him… We’re keeping that expertise here.” One area that Blake said he is keeping with tradition is in offering low-mileage “program cars.” He said Roger has a knack for finding these barely-used vehicles at affordable prices, and that’s something that Spring Valley customers have come to expect.
The dealership offers sales, service, parts, a collision center, and towing. Blake shared that, since he took over, he’s changed very little, but, “We’ve basically doubled the size of our collision center in the basement. That’s the biggest change we’ve made… Maybe some of the newer community members maybe have never heard that we have a fully certified GM body shop/collision center. We are authorized to do warranty paint work. We do a lot of deer-hit work, and we have a tow truck. And we can get them set up with a rental vehicle right on site.”
Blake says his “hidden gem” is the collision center, since most people think the business is only an auto dealership. He explained, “We have two guys in the collision center that have a good amount of experience and are very skilled with paint and body work. We have all the necessary tools. And they can work on any make or model, including imports. We custom mix all of our paint. So no need to order paint and wait for it to come in.” He added that his crew also uses a “plastic welder” which can fix anything from a car fender to a farmer’s plastic tank.
When asked what he hopes to change, Blake said, “The one thing that’s hard to do that we’d like to expand on is just the physical parking space…we want to do our best to accommodate so customers feel comfortable finding a parking space…I really strive to keep our building the same…I’ve come to the conclusion that I love this location.”
Blake adds that, “We certainly don’t want to change a whole bunch. Our biggest change is we’re just trying to carry a larger inventory, and a bit more variety in the inventory.” He employs a crew of 18 workers, with almost all working for him full-time. He also shared that, “We really appreciate the loyalty of our customers. It seems like businesses (in the Spring Valley area) are thriving. And I’ve been very impressed with how friendly our customers are. I’ve been very impressed with the businesses and the community.”