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Building Community

Audi Exchange Kirkwood is building community connections.

Audi Exchange Kirkwood has made an intentionally significant investment in the community. It's not just a car dealership with a new building. It's a shining example of how to create experiences, bring people together, and build community. Neil Westfall, General Manager, and the entire team at Audi Exchange Kirkwood fully intend for the new space to become an institution in the community.

Audi Exchange Kirkwood has transformed the corner of Manchester Road and Woodlawn. General Manager Neil Westfall fully intends for this magnificent new building to become a connection hub for Kirkwood, Webster Groves, and all the surrounding areas. In our interview, Neil shares his vision and passion for this new space and the communities it serves. He invites everyone to stop in and take a look around the new building and meet Kirkwood's newest neighbors. 

How do you envision this building being more than a showroom? 

NW (Neil Westfall): We want people to think about us differently. We are more than a place to buy a car. We want to be involved in what you do without expecting anything in return, like opening the showroom for people who wish to see cars and hosting events entirely unrelated to cars because it's more than just a car dealership. It's a hub for the community. We have 35,000 plus square feet of space, and cars on the showroom floor are easy to clear. We'll be able to use the area to meet the community's needs. This is how The Exchange has built its business and reputation over the past 50 years in the Chicago land area. I plan to inject my 20-plus years of experience into what The Exchange already knows how to do and build that legacy in Kirkwood. 

When you think about local communities and organizations, what are you enthusiastic about? 

NW: I am a huge advocate for empowering people and bringing different communities together. From a personal perspective, I am the president of the St. Louis European Auto Show, a free annual event that has been a St. Louis tradition since 1987. I'm enthusiastic about cars and people and how we can build into the fabric of the community whether it is with other businesses, family and children’s events, chamber functions and much more.

The outside of the building has transformed this stretch of Manchester Road. Talk about the transformation that takes place inside this space. 

NW: It's a people business. The brick-and-mortar matters. If it hadn’t, we wouldn't have invested in such a magnificent space. But in the end, it's the interactions with people. Servicing our customers is the thing that ties it all together. When people say, "This is the best experience I've ever had," my job is done. My goal is to change people's experience from the moment they walk in the door, even if they don't buy a car. 

What would you say to people curious about what this new space looks like inside? 

NW: I welcome you to come in. My office is right by the front door. We'll walk you through the whole facility and schedule tours. We want people to experience our exceptional level of service. I want people to say, "Why don't other car dealerships do it this way?" I really do want people to feel like we are neighbors. 

The stunning external elevation of the building sets Audi Exchange Kirkwood apart, but your entire approach to building relationships is also elevated. 

NW: Because it's not just a transactional thing. We have an opportunity to show the community that we are your neighbors, working side by side with you to make a difference. People like getting to know our team and how our service department cares for them. And when the time comes to buy a car, those same people will come and talk with us because we've taken such good care of them. We’ve earned their trust, and they believe in who we are. We are invested in building relationships because, like many other businesses, we want to become an institution in this community. 

I want people to say, "Why don't other car dealerships do it this way?"

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