Vogel Chev experienced in every area
By Mark Sherry
Mark Sherry photo
Plymouth High School graduate Hunter Grunow is working as an intern at Vogel Chevrolet in Kiel while receiving General Motors training in Appleton, hoping to join the team of experienced technicians at Vogel.

When it comes to getting full service from an experienced, easy-to-work-with team in the new and used vehicle business, it doesn’t get any better than Vogel Chevrolet in Kiel.

From some of the hottest selling new vehicles in America to quality used vehicles, Vogel Chevrolet has them for sale with assistance offered by a knowledgeable but no-pressure sales team.

Need service for a vehicle whether or not it was purchased at Vogel Chevrolet and whether or not it is even a General Motors product? The service department at Vogel Chevrolet works on all makes and models and has an experienced crew doing that work.

Perhaps the service needed is more cosmetic in nature—such as fixing the dents and missing pieces caused by a deer, a snow bank, or another vehicle. Vogel’s on-premises body shop also can handle all makes and models with the most up-to-date equipment and a staff which has seen just about everything in their many years on the job.

All those departments work together to provide solutions for whatever best serves the customer at Vogel Chevrolet.

Customers easy to work with

That atmosphere of teamwork certainly includes the customers as well. Service Manager Joel Noordyk has observed that as a relative newcomer at Vogel Chevrolet. He has worked there for three years, including the last year as Vogel’s service manager. Prior to that he worked for 15 years in the Fox Valley and said, “The customers here are easier to deal with than at a larger dealership.” The fact that many of those customers have been getting their service work done at Vogel Chevrolet for decades if not generations—not to mention having bought their vehicle there—helps them feel right at home.

Noordyk started working at a GM dealership when he was a 16-year-old high school student doing oil changes. Now that he has a year under his belt as a service manager, he said, “It’s been what I expected. It’s been good. I got to work with Wayne (Miller) for two years and learned a lot.”

Now Noordyk is the one passing along experience and knowledge to others as the Service Department at Vogel Chevrolet is making use of an internship program. Hunter Grunow, an 18-year-old recent graduate of Plymouth High School, is getting GM service training in Appleton while he works at Vogel. “It’s a GM-only program,” Noordyk said. “He gets to learn on their latest and greatest.” Noordyk added that the hope is Grunow someday soon becomes a full-time service technician at Vogel Chevrolet.

If he does he will join a team which services all makes and models of cars and trucks at an hourly rate lower than most new car dealerships. A heavier duty truck hoist makes it possible for Vogel Chevrolet technicians to also work on vehicles such as delivery trucks and mini-school buses.

Vogel Chevrolet also offers another service which not every repair shop does. Noordyk said, “We pick up vehicles right at your work or home, service them, and then bring them back.” Free loaner vehicles are also available.

Across a parking lot from the Service Department, Gene Buchmann and his body shop staff have been bringing vehicles back for years—back from various stages of destruction.

Similar to the Service Department, the body shop can handle all makes and models. Buchmann said Vogel Chevrolet has many resources to supply quality replacement parts quickly. Buchmann has been with Vogel Chevrolet for 46 years and said the speed with which they can get parts is one of many improvements he has seen over the years.

“As things change, technology changes, of course,” he said. “For example, years ago you didn’t repair bumper covers, but these days you do. That saves a lot of money if you can repair and not replace.”

Lighter materials used

Other trends Buchmann said he is seeing in the body shop is the use of more aluminum and high-strength steel, making vehicles lighter and subsequently improving fuel efficiency. That also necessitates changes in the equipment the body shop uses to repair vehicles, but GM and Vogel Chevrolet keep the shop up to date with what it needs and what works best.

That includes such things as water-based paint technology which Vogel Chevrolet added a couple years ago. Buchmann provided an update by saying the paint system is working great and providing good color matching. “We get very good help from BASF, our top-notch paint company,” he said.

Buchmann spoke after just finishing up a quote for a customer from Kaukauna. The man previously resided in Kiel but drove down with his grandson’s vehicle which had collided with a snow bank. That is just one of many examples of people wanting to do business with a full-service dealership which has been doing business in a small town for a long time. “There’s a hometown trust here,” Buchmann said. “You treat people fairly. That’s the bottom line.”

That last phrase holds true over on the sales side, where veteran salesmen Kelly Johnson and Ed Hartmann have a wide range of quality new and used vehicles for sale. Hartmann sees a positive difference in what Vogel Chevrolet has to offer, and he is also part of that difference.

“I find that small town atmosphere is here,” Hartmann said. He and Johnson know their vehicles inside and out, yet they are anything but the classic pushy car salesmen. They will provide their expertise to try to help a customer get in the right car for him or her, but in the end they know the decision belongs to the customer.

There are plenty of good choices out

there right now from Chevrolet, according to Hartmann. The 1500 series of trucks got a face-lift for 2016, including single-stack headlamps.

The restyled Malibu for 2016 is getting a lot of good press, Hartmann said, as it offers a bigger, better ride compared to some other passenger vehicles. For even more style there is the Camaro which also will have some new features for 2016.

Hartmann said pickup truck sales continue to be phenomenal in this area, but the Traverse and Equinox continue to do well too. The Traverse features three rows of seats, while the ever-popular Equinox is being freshened up for 2016.

There are always new features being introduced in today’s cars and trucks. A new one Hartmann mentioned is wireless phone chargers built into armrests.

Vogel Chevrolet stays on top of the latest offerings throughout all its departments while maintaining that small-town, hometown dealership advantage.