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International Unveils "Dealership of Future"

International Truck & Engine Corp unveiled its newly redesigned City International Trucks dealership in Chicago IL, which will become a model for the company's 1,000 other dealers nationwide.

The 45,000-square-foot facility has 39 maintenance bays, eight of which concentrate on truck body repairs. It employs 156 people, 70 of which are service technicians.

City International owner Kirk Plagman, former vice-president of International's $250-million used-truck business, bought the dealership in July 1999. This dealership sold more 9000 Series International conventional tractors in 1999 than it had in the preceding five years combined.

Plagman began by removing and replacing two inches of concrete on the service bay floor, then covering it with three layers of epoxy. Walls and sides of the bays were degreased and repainted. A separate office for Idealease - International's leasing partner - was built, along with a glass-walled driver lounge complete with big-screen television and Internet-ready workstations. Curbside ramps were installed so handcarts could be used to take parts into and out of the facility.

City International plans to add a new paint and body shop, along with an electric accounting system to become a truly paperless operation, Plagman said.

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