Don K adds new detail, accessory building

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Don Kaltschmidt, owner of the Don K car dealership, and Greg Shaffer, service manager, stand in front of the dealership’s new accessory and detail building. (Heidi Desch/Whitefish Pilot)

The Don K car dealership has opened its latest expansion an accessory and detail building.

The 3,200-square-foot building is an extension of the business’ Subaru operation and opened this month on the east side of the dealership on U.S. 93 South.

Owner Don Kaltschmidt said the new addition frees up space in other buildings across the dealership’s Whitefish campus.

“This allows for more space for our regular service work that continues to grow,” he said. “Things are going really well.”

Kaltschmidt said the addition of the facility means the opportunity to hire up to another five technicians. This brings the dealership to about 117 employees and an annual payroll of more than $5.1 million.

The new facility features a dedicated detail operation for dealership use for Subaru vehicles.

Greg Shaffer, Don K service manager, said the state-of-the-art detail bay is almost entirely automated making it more cost effective.

“It will speed up our wash time for Subaru,” he said. “It has all premixed chemicals and automatic blowers.”

Shaffer also pointed to the wash bay’s design that keeps environmental protection in-mind with drains the separate sand or oils from the wash water. In addition, the building features LED lighting and aspen trees have been planted next to it.

Kaltschmidt said business at the dealership continues to be strong.

“We’ve grown year over year, which allows us to create jobs,” Kaltschmidt said. “We thank the Flathead Valley for their patronage to allow for that.”

Frontier Builders served as the general contractor for the project and Montana Creative designed the $650,000 accessory and detail building. There were almost 40 subcontractors or technical specialists who participated in the construction of the building.

The Don K dealership in 2014 completed a multimillion dollar expansion with the addition of a 14,000-square-foot Subaru showroom. The campus includes sales and service of Subaru, Chevrolet, Chrysler, Dodge, Ram and Jeep vehicles.

Kaltschmidt acquired the Subaru franchise in 2010 and a year later added the Dodge, Chrysler, Jeep and Ram lines to the business.

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