These dealers are doing things like boosting their recycling and wastewater-use efforts and using waste oil to heat service departments. North Carolina's Westgate Chrysler Jeep Dodge Ram is noted for having 420 solar panels on the roof of its service department, which saves the business as much as $3,000 a month in utility costs.
Granted, while Chrysler hasn't been known for its fuel-sipping vehicles (the company has no hybrids on the US market), the automaker has been making strides. The company's new-vehicle fleetwide fuel economy was 21.2 miles per gallon, up from 19.9 mpg a year earlier, according to TrueCar. That 1.3 mile-per-gallon swing was more than double the average across all major automakers producing vehicles for the US.
Check out Chrysler's press release below, along with a video from Westgate about its eco-friendly efforts.
AUBURN HILLS, Mich., July 19, 2013
• Second-annual Dealer Environmentally Conscious Operations (ECO) Program recognizes 30 Chrysler Group dealerships in U.S.
• ECO dealers saving money and natural resources through significant environmental initiatives
• Chrysler Group to share these best practices across its dealer network
Westgate Chrysler Jeep® Dodge Ram in Raleigh, N.C. is one of 30 dealerships that Chrysler Group LLC has recognized for adopting environmentally-friendly business practices.
Westgate installed 420 solar panels on its service department roof to take advantage of central North Carolina's abundant sunshine. This array of photovoltaic modules converts sunlight into usable electricity. But rather than using the energy in the dealership, Westgate sells it to the region's electric power company at a fixed rate.
By selling power generated by its solar panel system, Westgate realizes a monthly savings of $1,800 to $3,000, depending on the season, savings that typically is passed on to the dealership's customers.
"Westgate is a prime example of how our dealerships are making significant contributions to the environment and to Chrysler Group's commitment to creating a sustainable enterprise," said Peter Grady, Vice President of Network Development & Fleet, Chrysler Group LLC. "We commend these dealers for their initiatives and look forward to sharing their stories and successes with other dealerships throughout our dealer network."
To educate customers about its dedication to green practices, and to provide a live report of its renewable energy generation, Westgate installed an LCD monitor in its showroom that displays current, daily, monthly, and annual system performance; the local weather; a view of the solar panels, and an education page on just how the system works.
Like Westgate, dealerships typically have service departments with large flat or slightly-slanted roofs, both conducive to a solar panel system. Westgate's sustainable practices extend beyond its rooftop solar array. For example, the dealership installed clean burn furnaces that utilize used waste oil to heat the service department and aid in reducing the use of fossil fuels and dependence on raw materials such as water.
This is the second group of dealers to be recognized under the Dealer ECO Program launched in 2011 by the Chrysler Group Network Development organization and the Corporate Sustainability Office. The Dealer ECO Program provides Chrysler Group dealers with the opportunity to demonstrate their commitment to eco-friendly business practices and to be recognized for their efforts.
The 30 Chrysler Group dealerships are located in 21 states, with four each in Michigan and Florida, and two each in California, North Carolina, and Texas. To commemorate their achievements, Chrysler Group recently presented each dealership with an ECO plaque and souvenirs for dealership employees.
The 30 dealerships were chosen for recognition based on data gleaned from dealership online surveys and in-dealership photos. Selection was based on a dealership's major ECO initiatives, energy efficiency, waste recycling, wastewater control, bulk oil containment, vehicle lift maintenance and community relations program.
The 30 dealerships and locations are:
• Sterling Heights Dodge Chrysler Jeep Ram, Sterling Heights, Mich.
• Golling Chrysler Dodge Jeep Ram, Bloomfield Hills, Mich.
• Zeigler Chrysler Dodge Ram, Kalamazoo, Mich.
• Roseville Chrysler Dodge Jeep Ram, Roseville, Mich.
• Dadeland Dodge Chrysler Jeep, Miami, Fla.
• Brandon Auto Mall FIAT, Brandon, Fla.
• FIAT of North Miami, North Miami, Fla.
• FIAT of Melbourne, Melbourne, Fla.
• Hunter Dodge Chrysler Jeep, Lancaster, Calif.
• Kearny Mesa FIAT, San Diego, Calif.
• Helfman Dodge Chrysler Jeep Ram, Houston, Texas
• Helfman FIAT, Houston, Texas
• FIAT of the Triad, Greensboro, N.C.
• Westgate Chrysler Jeep Dodge Ram, Raleigh, N.C.
• L. T. Begnal Motor Co., Kingston, N.Y.
• Tacoma Dodge Chrysler Jeep, Tacoma, Wash.
• Cavanaughs' Motors, Monmouth, Ill.
• Tom O'Brien Chrysler Jeep Dodge Ram, Indianapolis, Ind.
• Fury Motors Chrysler Jeep Dodge Ram, South St. Paul, Minn.
• Foster Motors, Middlebury, Vt.
• Crown Chattanooga Chrysler Dodge Jeep Ram, Chattanooga, Tenn.
• Eau Claire Chrysler Dodge Jeep Ram, Eau Claire, Wisc.
• Fred Frederick Chrysler Jeep Dodge, Laurel, MD
• Flower Motor Co., Montrose, Colo.
• Secor Chrysler Dodge Jeep Ram, New London, Conn.
• Salem Chrysler Jeep Dodge, Salem, Ohio
• Bryant Motors, Sedalia, Mo.
• Sea View Auto Corp., Ocean Township, N.J.
• Akins Dodge Chrysler Jeep Ram, Winder, Ga.
• Direct Dodge Chrysler Jeep, Wytheville, Va.