Killeen Automax will host a grand opening and ribbon-cutting for its new 33,000-square-foot Volkswagen dealership at 11 a.m. Thursday.

Killeen Mayor Scott Cosper will be present, along with representatives from Volkswagen, to present Automax a welcome gift from the company. Light refreshments will be provided, and the public is invited.

The facility has been open for two months and includes a 15,000-square-foot new car showroom, the largest that Volkswagen builds, according to Ben Bennatt, general manager.

The showroom’s minimalist white furniture projects a modern vibe, as does the small but well-stocked boutique store, which offers Volkswagen gear such as jackets, scarves, custom hubcaps, baby clothing and VW beanie babies.

“People are pretty loyal about wearing their VW hats and badges,” Bennatt said.

In addition, the showroom houses a customer lounge with a self-serve coffee and tea bar, flat-screen television and free Wi-Fi access. Every new vehicle in the showroom sits behind a white pedestal with a built-in iPad detailing vehicle specs and owner maintenance reports.

In one corner of the showroom sits a silver-blue vintage 1968 VW flatbed pickup truck, providing a sense of Volkswagen history. Bennatt said a private owner loaned the vehicle for display.

The dealership also features an outdoor display area for new vehicles.

The climate-controlled service bay has two garage doors that operate with sensor pads and two large flat screens suspended from the ceiling that pull up details of each customer and their vehicle after check-in.

In addition to servicing their own Volkswagen inventory, which currently includes 130 new and more than 1,000 VW-certified pre-owned vehicles, the garage services “all makes and models,” Bennatt said.

The new service garage can accommodate up to 19 vehicles at one time. It is no small feat to keep the showroom, service bay, garage and outdoor display areas in tip-top condition, Bennatt said.

“We’re always cleaning,” he said. “Everyone pitches in.”

Since the new Volkswagen dealership opened, the public has responded enthusiastically, Bennatt said.

“Business has been very good,” he said. “We’ve been well received.”

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