GONE! Bill Heard Out of Business In Nashville - NewsChannel5.com | Nashville News, Weather & Sports

NewsChannel 5 Investigates: Bill Heard Chevrolet

GONE! Bill Heard Out of Business In Nashville

Out with the old Out with the old
In with the new In with the new
New owner Mark Schols New owner Mark Schols

Bill Heard Chevrolet is officially out of business here in Nashville.

As consumer investigator Jennifer Kraus first reported last week, Heard decided to sell his Antioch dealership because sales dropped significantly after a NewsChannel 5 investigation exposed questionable sales and business tactics.

Now, the dealership has a new name, a new owner and -- according to him -- a new way of doing business.

Crews were busy taking down everything with Bill Heard's name on it, signs on the buildings, license plate covers, even the giant billboard along Interstate 24.

In their place, went the dealership's new name - AutoFair Chevrolet.

Mark Schols, the new owner, tells Kraus that he was disgusted by the problems our investigation uncovered at Bill Heard.

And he knows his biggest challenge will be to prove to people that AutoFair does not do business the way Bill Heard did. Schols says he's made that perfectly clear to his employees.

"A name change is not going to change people's minds," Schols says.

"Advertising is not going to change people's minds. The way we treat people inside these four walls is what's going to change people's minds and I expect them to treat everybody the same way they want to be treated and better."

Schols says his top priorities are customer service and customer satisfaction. He explains his way of doing business as this:

"When customers have a problem, come and see me. I'm going to take care of it. If somebody purchases the wrong car, bring it back. We'll give them a new one. If they lose their job and they're in hard times, then I'm going to do what's right by the customer. I want to establish a great reputation here and I will do everything I quite possible can to accomplish that."

And Schols says he told his employees during their first staff meeting that they're going to have to work hard to rebuild customer trust and confidence.

"I understand the microscope is going to be on us. I told them the microscope is going to be on us so not only do we need to be better, we need to be the best and we have no room for errors. And, I give my commitment that we will do everything we possibly can to exceed every customer's expectations."

Schols says when he took over, he fired most of the managers who'd worked for Bill Heard. And those he's kept on, he has told he has zero tolerance for lying to or cheating customers.

He also says he's a hands-on kind of owner. He says you'll find him at the dealership every day meeting customers and that he gives all customers his cell and home phone numbers and asks them to call him if they have a problem.

Schols got his start selling cars in high school. He has owned dealerships in Florida and Kentucky. He also was once a part owner of Performance Ford in West Nashville.

He currently also owns three dealerships in New Hampshire. But, says owning a Chevy dealership here in Nashville is a dream come true, something he's worked for his whole life.

Meanwhile, both the state Department of Commerce and Insurance and the Attorney General's office tell us that their investigations into Bill Heard Chevrolet -- prompted by our stories -- will continue despite the change in ownership.

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