By: Carol Beck-Round | Category: Automotive | Issue: March 2015
Lacy Richardson is the newest employee at Car Country in Claremore. Lacy takes care of receiving payments from customers so the process is faster and smoother than in the past.
Car Country is celebrating its two-year anniversary in Claremore. The auto dealership opened its doors in March 2013 at 1401 W. Will Rogers. Since opening, the dealership has been very productive, says General Manager Alex Sordo. “We’ve been well received in Claremore and we’re very grateful for that.”
The success of the growing business, according to Sordo, is their business philosophy. “Our focus is on helping the customer establish credit in a positive way,” Sordo says. “We offer a buy here, pay here opportunity so the customer can get approved, come in and pick out a vehicle, and drive away.”
What sets Car Country apart from other “buy here, pay here” businesses is their intention. “Some used car dealerships are in the recycling customer business,” he says. “Our vision is to help people get out of the cycle of buying a used auto with high miles and being in debt to the business who sold them the vehicle. They are locked into their system. If they don’t stay in good standing with their payments, they are reported to the credit bureau and the vehicle is eventually repossessed. Those businesses use the credit bureau to their advantage, not their customers.”
Car Country also reports to the credit bureaus. “We want our customers to establish good credit by paying off their vehicle,” Sordo adds. “Then, if they wish, they can purchase a new car using conventional methods (hopefully from one of the Nelson auto group dealerships). Our whole intention is not to recycle customers but to help establish credit-worthy citizens who also might want to purchase a house on down the road.”
Car Country finances their vehicles for three years and now offers a 2-year or 24,000-mile warranty. “We also now offer free oil changes and free roadside assistance for the term of the loan,” he says. “This is revolutionary for a ‘buy here, pay here’ business, especially since you can’t get that out of a new dealership, and we stand behind all our cars, which are later models and lower mileage.”
Two employees have been with the business since it opened. “We are pleased that Store Manager Tom Landers and his son, Trey, sales, have been here from the beginning. They have very good reputations, and I think it says a lot about our business.”
A new employee, Lacy Richardson, recently joined the team. “Now customers who come into the store to make car payments will not have to wait for Tom or Trey to finish with another customer before receiving a payment,” he says. “The process is faster and smoother than in the past. We are now running at full capacity.”
To get pre-approved, potential customers may fill out an application online at www.carcountry.com, where they can view inventory as well. “We want to help people get a car so if it’s toward the end of tax time and they haven’t yet filed, we can even help prepare your taxes,” Sordo adds. “We just want to help anyway we can.”
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After 30 years in public school education, Carol Round retired and moved from Grand Lake to Claremore, Oklahoma in 2005, where she writes a weekly faith-based column which runs in 14 Oklahoma newspapers as well as several national and international publications. Three volumes of her columns have been compiled into collections: A Matter of Faith, Faith Matters and by FAITH alone. She has also written Journaling with Jesus: How to Draw Closer to God and a companion workbook, The 40-Day Challenge. This past year she has written three children’s books, a series called Nana’s 3 Jars, to teach children about the value of giving, saving and spending money. All of Carol’s books are available through Amazon. In addition to writing her weekly column, authoring books and speaking to women’s groups, she writes for Value News. She also blogs regularly at www.carolaround.com. When she is not writing or speaking, she loves spending time with her three grandchildren, working in her flowerbeds, shooting photos, volunteering at her church or going on mission trips overseas, and hiking. She is also an avid reader and loves working crosswords and trying to solve Sudoku puzzles.