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Stephen Zabawa, Susan Sullivan, Ann Soares & John Soares would like to invite you to tour



BOB ZELLAR/Gazette Staff Cover Photo

Congratulations Rimrock GMC Cadillac on your new Dealership! We are proud to be a part of this Project!

Design • Build • Commercial • Industrial • Tilt-up Concrete

123 Regal St. • 252-6298 2


Congratulations! RimRock Gmc cadillac On the Opening of Your New Facility

Partnering with Billings businesses like Rimrock GMC Cadillac is what we are all about!

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| Member FDIC




With a classically elegant showroom, world class service and models re-designed from the ground up, Rimrock GMC Cadillac sets the gold standard for customer sales and service. By Allyn Hulteng


t’s hard not to notice the gleaming new GMC Cadillac dealership occupying a premier location along Shiloh Road just south of King Avenue West. The building is a show-stopper: Polished white walls with crisp black piping and brushed metal accents bespeak of classic elegance, while a panorama of oversized windows provides an unobstructed view into the stunning showroom. “It took us 17 years to move General Motors out to Shiloh,” said Steve Zabawa who, along with John Soares, owns Rimrock GMC Cadillac. “We were patient – waiting for the right time, the right location and the right team. Finally, all the stars lined up.”

According to Soares, 85 percent of today’s car shoppers have already spent time online doing research before stepping onto the lot. And, he noted, that’s been a benefit to both buyers and dealers. “Most people who come into the dealership have accumulated a lot of information and know exactly what they want,” Soares said. “Our job is to guide them through the process. We answer any questions and facilitate a tactile experience – sitting in a car, smelling the interior, taking it for a drive.”

A DASH OF SPECTACULAR The new showroom is an evolution in car shopping. Spacious, with clean lines, walls of windows and a soaring ceiling, the interior is awash in natural light. On the floor, gleaming crème, taupe and warm grey tile communiCUSTOMER-CENTRIC EXPERIENCE cates an understated elegance, which is furStarting with the initial approach into the ther punctuated with sleek work stations and dealership, customers experience car shopsubtle maple accents. ping in a completely different way. “Steve and I credit our wives, Ann and Su“The lot is seven feet lower than street level, so people can see every one of our vehicles as san, for the work they put into design choices,” said Soares. “They spent a lot of time traveling they drive in,” noted Zabawa. various cities looking at other dealerships beRoomy and easy to navigate, the lot exudes fore making decisions; Ann and Susan are the an inviting vibe that makes it comfortable for ones who put the fine touches on this store.” people to park, walk around and peruse the While the store fully complies with GMC’s Esinventory. sential Brand Elements (EBE) design paradigm, Long gone are the days of aggressive sales it was those fine details and special touches tactics. Associates at Rimrock GMC Cadillac that came together to create a warm, welcomare polite, knowledgeable – and genuinely ining aesthetic. spired to provide an exceptional experience. “Customers say they feel right at home,” said “Our sales people are open and friendly,” Soares. said Zabawa. “They’ll ask about your needs While the ambiance is inviting, the real atand your budget, and then help you find a vetraction are the new makes and models parked hicle you not only like – but that you love.” inside. Bill DuBeau, AIA, an architect with A&E CAR BUYING 2.0 Both Zabawa and Soares note that the Inter- Architects and project lead, noted that the net has transformed the auto industry business showroom provides the perfect backdrop for showcasing vehicles. model.


“Everything was designed with the customer experience in mind,” DuBeau said. Car shoppers can navigate the roomy showroom with ease. New models on the floor offer a peek at innovative design and engineering. There’s even a “product station” where customers can find details on specific vehicles, see large size samples of exterior paint choices and examine the texture and color of upholstery options on oversized swatches. Once an individual decides on a make and model, a sales associate will put him or her behind the wheel for a test drive. If it’s the right fit, the customer can finalize the transaction in the quiet comfort of a private office. “It’s all about the customer experience,” said Zabawa. “We want people to be wowed.” STERLING SERVICE At Rimrock GMC Cadillac, selling a car is just one facet of the business. “Our goal is to build a long-term relationship with each and every customer,” Soares said. “We want to be your first choice for automotive service, and we will work hard to earn your trust.” To that end, Soares and Zabawa pulled out all the stops with their new, state-of-the-art service department. Two oversized, glass-paneled garage doors open to a clean, bright and expansive queuing station. Once inside, a customer will be greeted by one of three service advisers. Advisers use state-of-the-art quick vehicle inspection technology. “We are the first dealership to deploy stateof-the-art quick vehicle inspection technology in the new service department,” said Zabawa. “In less than two minutes, we can tell you if you need tires, an alignment or a new battery. please see page 6


CONTACT INFORMATION: Owners John and Steve credit their wives, Susan (left) and Ann (right), for all the hard work they put into the design choices for the new showroom. BOB ZELLAR/ Gazette Staff

Rimrock GMC Cadillac 840 S. Shiloh Rd & King Billings, MT 59106 Main 406-651-5000 Sales (866) 575-2074 Service (877) 263-0862

HOURS: Monday - Friday: 8am-8pm Saturday: 9am-7pm Service Monday - Friday: 7am-5:30pm Saturday: 8am-5pm Sunday: Closed

Congratulations rimrock Gmc caDillac

on your new Dealership!



Rimrock GMC Cadillac on your new dealership!

Ductmasters, INC 850 Parkway Lane • 252-1319 5

Customers can navigate the roomy showroom with ease and view new models before they get behind the wheel for a test drive. BOB ZELLAR/ Gazette Staff

RIMROCK From page 4 The technology also generates trouble codes that display graphically on an iPad. It will show you exactly how your vehicle rates, what kind of work is needed and how much it will cost before you leave.” Everything is automated; the service center maintains a customer’s entire car history in its database for easy retrieval and review. “We want to be totally transparent, giving customers the information they need to make an informed decision,” Zabawa said.


CUSTOMER COMFORT Once the work order is input, the customer can retreat to a beautifully appointed waiting area. Open to the showroom and separated from the service center by a floor-to-ceiling glass wall, the waiting area offers a zen-like space to relax. On one side, sumptuous leather-clad club chairs beckon patrons to sit in luxurious comfort while watching an oversized flat screen TV. Opposite, bistro-inspired high top tables and stools and a coffee and soft beverage bar invite conversation. At any time, customers can glance through the glass wall to a large flat screen monitor in the queuing station to check on the status of their car. Once the service is complete, every car is

thoroughly washed before it is returned to the owner. “Returning your car in better condition than when it was dropped off is just one more way we show our customers that we care,” said Zabawa. BUILDING A LEGACY Extraordinary customer service and transparency in every transaction – both are commitments that Zabawa and Soares, along with their entire staff, make to each and every customer. For them, the business isn’t just about selling cars, it’s about building relationships. “We want to create a legacy of service,” said Zabawa. “We want our customers to say, ‘I had a great experience at Rimrock GMC Cadillac – they know how to take care of people.’”



A partnership paved in hard work, exceptional service and unflinching resolve. By Allyn Hulteng


he Rimrock GMC Cadillac dealership is the most recent success story for Steve Zabawa and John Soares, who this year celebrate 20 years as business partners in Billings. As owners of multiple dealerships under their Rimrock Auto umbrella – including Subaru, Mercedes-Benz, Volkswagen and GMC Cadillac – it may seem as though theirs is a Cinderella story. But in reality, the two businessmen have had to overcome adversity more than once in their quest to bring quality vehicle lines and superior service to Billings. HUMBLE BEGINNINGS Zabawa and Soares first met in 1987 when both started selling cars at a large Phoenix dealership. “We each thought the other one wasn’t going to make it in the car business,” Soares joked, recounting their early history. As things turned out, both Zabawa and Soares had a knack for selling vehicles and building solid relationships with customers. It wasn’t long before the two began discussing buying their own dealership and becoming partners. One day in 1993, Soares was golfing with a friend who mentioned that a dealership in Billings, Montana might be available. “Neither Steve nor I had ever been to Billings,” Soares said. “We flew up in September, took one look around and loved what we saw.” By October they had a five-year deal to buy out the Pontiac GMC Cadillac dealership and moved their families to Billings. “We never looked back,” Soares said.


on your new FaCility!

BOB ZELLAR/Gazette Staff

Through ups and downs, John Soares (left) and Steve Zabawa (right) have stuck together since 1987 when both started selling cars at a large Phoenix dealership.

BUILDING ON FAITH In September of 1998, the partners finished buying out the former owner of Pontiac GMC Cadillac. The following year, they purchased Ryan Oldsmobile. At the same time, the auto industry was undergoing significant changes. Just months after acquiring Ryan Olds, General Motors dissolved the Oldsmobile franchise. please see page 8




to Rimrock GMC Cadillac on the new Dealership!

We are proud to be a part of this project. 6809 King Ave West Unit D Billings, MT 59106

406-254-0284 • 528 Moore Ln • Billings, MT


0ffice 406.839.9110 7


reps, insurance companies, liquidating inventory. His efforts kept us afloat,” said Soares. Although Zabawa and Soares were able to overcome their challenges in New Orleans, From page 7 another kind of storm was brewing. In 2009, near the peak of recession, Chrysler Corporation filed for bankruptcy. The company “We were left with nothing but a vacant lot,” terminated Chrysler, Jeep and Pontiac franSoares recalled. chise agreements with thousands of dealers, Eventually, GM settled with the franchise including Soares and Zabawa. At the same owners, and in June of 2002 Soares and Zabawa added Subaru to their growing family of time, GM took away the Cadillac franchise. Though GM relented and returned the Cadilstores, moving it to the empty Oldsmobile lot. lac franchise to Zabawa and Soares several They hired Ernie Lee to run the Subaru dealermonths later, the loss of the other franchises ship, and ultimately made him an equal partner was a substantial hit. in Subaru. Once again, the partners pulled together, “Ernie does a great job. He’s made the streamlining their remaining stores while perSubaru store what it is today,” said Soares. fecting the art of customer service. The demise of Oldsmobile was just the first “Steve’s strong suit is the ability to turn a of several devastating business blows the partnegative situation into something positive ners would face. and special,” said Soares. “He’s a visionary In 2005, Hurricane Katrina obliterated their who sees all the potential; I’m a numbers guy. Dodge Chrysler Jeep store in New Orleans. That’s what makes our partnership so strong.” “We were looking at a total loss. Steve spent weeks in triage mode: meeting with factory

Congratulations Rimrock GMC Cadillac on your

New dealership!

868 Parkway Ln, Billings (406) 656-5955 • 8

Full-throttle fortitude That strength in partnership has served Zabawa and Soares well. Today, Rimrock Auto Group owns KIA, Subaru, Volkswagen, Mercedes-Benz, GMC and Cadillac franchises in Billings. They also own Rimrock Express Lube, Rimrock Auto Body and Auto Trim Design. While the partnership has grown and changed over the past 20 years, there is one thing that remains steadfast. “Our commitment to exceptional customer service is at the core of everything we do,” Soares said. “We’re happy to be part of this wonderful community, and we hope you become part of our Rimrock family.”


Rimrock GMC Cadillac!

719 4th Ave. N. |:::| 245-6117 RIMROCK GMC CADILLAC


Rimrock GMC Cadillac is the first dealership to deploy state-of-the-art quick vehicle inspection technology in the new service department. BOB ZELLAR/Gazette Staff

hat if you could bring your vehicle to a service center where an adviser could inspect your car at a touch of a button? No waiting for a call. No guesswork. And what if after leaving your car, you could wait in a beautifully appointed customer lounge with rich leather chairs, a flat screen TV and complimentary coffee and soft beverage bar? What if when your car was finished being serviced, it was professionally washed and promptly delivered back to you under a covered, outdoor bay? “The new Rimrock GMC Cadillac service center offers all of this – plus much more,” said Steve Zabawa who, along with John Soares, owns Rimrock Auto Group.


FIRST-TO-THE-MARKET INSPECTION TECHNOLOGY It used to be that car problems were riddles. Fixes were part mechanic knowledge, part guesswork. Not at Rimrock GMC Cadillac. “We are the first dealership to deploy stateof-the-art quick vehicle inspection technology in the new service department,” said Zabawa. “In less than two minutes, we can tell you if you need tires, an alignment or even a new battery. The technology also generates trouble codes that display graphically on an iPad. It will show you exactly how your vehicle rates, what kind of work is needed and how much it will cost before you leave.” The investment in technology, Zabawa noted, was significant. But he added, it was also very important.

“We want people to expect the highest standard of customer service, and this technology is part of delivering on that promise,” Zabawa said. FAST AND ACCURATE The higher standard of service is evident the moment a customer drives into the service bay. Two oversized, glass paneled garage doors open to reveal a spacious queuing station. Light-colored walls, abundant windows and attractive AutoStone tile on the floor create a clean, welcoming environment. Customers are greeted by one of three service advisers. In less than two minutes, the adviser inspects the car using state-of-the-art technology. please see page 10


The service department has 15 service bays, each outfitted with an underground lift that protects the exterior of a car when raised. Jack Gauer, MVP / Allen Peters, Spotlight


shop. Everything is electronically recorded, so when stock runs low a refill order From page 9 is automatically sent. In addition to tech sta“It’s fast and completely transparent,” Zations, the shop also has a bawa noted. “The customer gets a customized road force tire balancer, report that details exactly what services the robotic rubber changer, an car needs, and he or she can then make an under-mount alignment mainformed decision.” chine and quick lube center. Once an order is completHIGH-TECH TREATMENT ed, the vehicle is brought Once the car has been inspected, it’s driven to the automated car wash into the shop. where it is professionally Large, clean and bright, the shop features cleaned before being re15 service bays. Each bay is outfitted with an turned to the owner. underground lift that protects the exterior of a car when raised. RIMROCK GMC CADILLAC – Bays also feature individual built-in tool MUCH MORE THAN A STORE boxes, overhead oil and fluid hoses and a As your car goes in to the shop, you can wait computer screen and keyboard. in Rimrock GMC Cadillac’s poshly-appointed “We log everything we do into a computer customer lounge. and store the information as part of the veSoft leather club chairs and a flat screen hicle’s permanent record,” said Zabawa. TV make the minutes tick by quickly. If you If the tech needs something, there is a fullylike, there’s also a complimentary full service stocked parts department adjacent to the


BOB ZELLAR/Gazette Staff

espresso bar with café-style seating. Just steps away, the elegant showroom offers a peek at some of the latest vehicle models and styles. “We truly want our customers to feel like family,” said Zabawa. “It’s our hope that once you experience the Rimrock difference, you’ll be our customer for life.”


Customers can enjoy the flat screen TV and a complimentary full service espresso bar while they wait for their car to be serviced. BOB ZELLAR/Gazette Staff

PO Box 20364 BILLINGS, MT 59104 Construction


406-652-2555 FAX: 406-652-4441


est. 1954



Congratulations Rimrock GMC Cadillac on your new Dealership! Supplier of Architectural Building Products *Metal Composite Panels

Congratulations Rimrock GMC Cadillac

We are proud to be involved with this project! 2915 Hannon Rd.



Congratulations Rimrock ock GMC Cadillac on your New Dealership! 11

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840 South Shiloh Rd • Shiloh & King • Billings, MT

1-877-4 68-9332

Hours of Operation: Monday-Friday 7:00am - 5:30pm • Saturday 8:00am-3:00pm • Sunday CLOSED



Rimrock GMC Cadillac  

A look at the new Rimrock GMC Cadillac dealership located at Shiloh & King.

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