In addition to our huge supply of genuine GM parts, we also have a wide selection of aftermarket parts," ex-plained Jeral Lawler, parts manager. "In-surance companies are insisting that shops use aftermarket parts in many cases. Because that market exists, we carry the parts to service that segment as well."
Under the name Cool Customs, Chevyland also markets accessories. And their internet presence is growing as well. "One of our goals is to enhance internet sales," said Lawler.
Twenty-five people staff the Parts Department, wrangling the huge inventory. Many of these employees have worked with the company for a long time, which speaks well of how the owners have always been good to work for. Recently, Robert Simmons was hired to call on outside accounts including body shops and garages.
Tom Walker, general manager of Brock's Collision Centers three stores in Shreveport, lauds the service his shops receive from Chevyland. "We have a dedicated representative who works with our three shops. We do multi-dealer work, so we need a wide variety of parts every day. Most of the time they have what we need in stock, but if by some chance they don't have a part, they can acquire it for us in a timely manner.
"In the past, we were using a lot of out-of-town suppliers, but we made the decision to develop relationships with local vendors.
Now we totally use in-town vendors - Chevyland being one of our main suppliers. We have a good partnership and help each other out."
When asked what's so special about the Chevyland parts department, Lawler offered that "along with having the largest inventory in the region, we do an outstanding job of servicing the market area - which encompasses a 120-mile radius."
Nine trucks deliver parts to southeast Arkansas, northwest Louisiana, southeastern Oklahoma and small towns along the western Texas border. Because the area is so spread out and rural, Chevyland's delivery system, called Courtesy Connection, also carries parts for the other major dealerships in Shreveport to outlying customers.
In addition to being a service to the body shops in the area, it is also a conservation effort Running full trucks saves fuel. Having fewer trucks going to the same place is economical as well. Each morning parts are brought to Chevyland's staging area, then sent out via the Courtesy Connection.
"I'm not sure what we would do without the Courtesy Connection." Mike Deloney, owner, Deloney's Paint and Body, frankly stated. "When I first started my collision repair shop, I drove the 55 miles from Spring Hill to Shreveport yself to pick up parts from all over town. As my business grew, leaving to pick up parts became a major hindrance. Chevyland's delivery service is a huge timesaver and has freed me up to attend to other business."
Continued Deloney, "Chevyland has really grown into one heck of a business. Their big expansion has been a great benefit to shops in the delivery area. Furthermore, all their staff is knowledgeable. I can talk to any salesperson on the phone and get quality service from Chevyland."
In 1962 Charles Tooraen purchased the old Howard Crumley Chevrolet dealership located in downtown Shreveport. Tooraen built a new facility on Linwood Avenue and changed the name to Courtesy Chevrolet DBA Chevyland. Jerry Montgomery Sr. was hired as the new car sales manager the same year.
Montgomery started investing in Chevyland in 1970 and ten years later he became full owner. Montgomery's son-in- law Steve Horn took over as dealer in 1998. After Montgomery's death in 2000, under the guidance of Horn and secretary-treasurer David Horn, the new facility on Youree Drive was completed in 2001.
The Montgomery family is well-known throughout the city of Shreveport, not only for their business acumen, but for their generosity to the community as well. Chevyland supports numerous charities, non-profit organizations and civic projects including the American Heart Association, the American Cancer Society, Goodwill, Junior League, Providence House, Shreveport Symphony, Shreveport Bossier Community Renewal, Sutton's Children's Hospital and many middle and high school sports teams.