Beaver Toyota open for business on Hwy. 20

The newest Toyota dealership built in the southeastern United States in more than five years recently opened in Forsyth County.

“Our cars fit into people’s lives and that’s what the dealership was designed around.”

Matt Calavan, one of the dealership’s co-owners, said Beaver Toyota is also committed to growing jobs in Forsyth County and, to date, has already hired about 100 new employees.

At max capacity, he expects the dealership to create a total of 200-250 new jobs, and the emphasis is on hiring locals.

Beaver Toyota of Cumming, at 1875 Buford Hwy. (Hwy. 20) opened Wednesday, and according to Calavan, has already seen quite a number of customers.

Calavan said the facility, which will have its grand opening in December, is unlike other dealerships in the area in that it will hopefully serve as a community space for local residents, as well as a car sales facility.

“You’ll see a lot of areas where the community can come in and use this space,” Calavan said. “For example, we have Bucky’s backyard, which has a big-screen TV, a cookout grill, fire pits and a large area where we can come together and the community can come in and have an event.”

Upstairs, the dealership has board rooms that a Rotary Club or a nonprofit, for example, could meet.

“We want the community to come in and use the facility, so we designed it built around that,” Calavan said. “Another thing that sets us apart is just the culture we create and the amount of people we’re looking for to be on the team.

“We believe that it’s about the relationship and not the transaction, and that’s where it starts. If we have strong relationships with each other —internally with our team members — then our customers are going to feel that.”

Calavan said he wants every customer to feel that positivity even before they are approached by a salesperson.

“We believe that we can create a different experience with customers and that it is more of a destination,” he said. “When you walk in, it doesn’t really feel like a car dealership because there’s nothing about cars on the walls.”

The 130,000-square foot facility, which has a 56-bay service station, a parts store and a Toyota Certified Collision Center, also features a beverage bar customers can enjoy while getting their vehicle serviced, as well as a full-service indoor café and guest lounge, with a children’s area.

“We have a great café,” Calavan said. “At home, where does everybody hang out? In the kitchen, around the kitchen table, so we’ve created that same type of environment where people can gather together and build those relationships with each other.

“People will come here just to eat lunch or breakfast or dinner and hang out.”

The dealership also offers an on-site insurance agency that provides home and auto insurance.

“We’re kind of a full-service stop,” Calavan said. “We traveled all over the country and borrowed a lot of great ideas to [make this] possible.”