A grand opening was held Tuesday, Nov. 5, at the brand new i.g. Burton Chrysler, Dodge, Jeep, Ram and Fiat dealership in Milford. This store will be one of the first-of-its-kind in the United States with a separate Jeep showroom focusing on Jeep brand and lifestyle.
“There’s nothing like it on Delmarva,” declared Charlie Burton, owner and president of i.g. Burton and Company Inc., which now has nine locations spread from Smyrna to Berlin, Md. “I think this is the second ‘New Image’ Chrysler store on the East Coast. There are only one or two others in the country, and more will be built,” he predicted. “We are happy to be able to be one of the first ones out.”
Jeep is a popular brand in the beach area, Burton said. “It’s a good 4-wheel drive vehicle. People like to drive 4-wheel drive through the snow and sand. It’s a lot of fun. Jeep has off-road capability which makes it ideal for hunting, too.”
The new i.g. Burton store has been built right next to the old store at 605 Bay Road in Milford. While one side of the facility focuses on Jeep, the other side will continue to sell and service the Chrysler, Dodge, Ram and Fiat lines.
Pete Renzi, a director of i.g. Burton, has been working on the new building project for four years. “We outgrew the old facility,” Renzi said. “This new one will provide a nicer experience for our customers and employees.”
i.g. Burton and Company has made a significant investment in the facility to be able to hire more people, work on more cars, deliver better service and sales experience. The new dealership has over 29,000 square feet of space, which includes 18 service bays. In addition to 14 lifts, there are two medium duty truck lifts, a quick service bay and an alignment rack. There is wifi throughout the building for customers, as well as a cafe lounge to enjoy.
“It’s a cool facility,” Renzi boasted. “All the finishes on the Jeep side are very high end, similar to a luxury car dealership experience. The exterior panels are black, there’s a bamboo look to the showroom entry and granite countertops. It’s good to see this come to fruition after working on it so long.”
i.g. Burton has been in operation for 111 years. Charlie Burton is the fifth generation to own the family business.
It started back in 1908 when the family had a general store in Millsboro that offered canning goods and other needs for the local community. “When the automobile came out and was available to be sold as a retail unit, the manufacturers came to our little general store and asked my great-grandfather, Capt. Theodore Burton, ‘Can we park our vehicles out here so people can see them and we can get some exposure?’ He allowed them to do so, and that’s how we got into the car business.” Charlie said. His great-grandfather would sell them a new car, then teach them how to drive it, he said.
Charlie Burton is pleased to be able to continue his family’s long tradition of providing quality cars. “So much has changed in the world of cars in the last five to 10 years; let alone the past hundred. We have a photo of my great-great grandfather in a horse-drawn carriage. That was how most of us traveled in 1908, not by car. Today, our cars have more technology in them than we traveled to the moon with 50 years ago. They’re computers on wheels. So, it’s an exciting time to be in this business. Our new dealership is the same way. The technology involved in this project compared to the last new dealership we built is night and day different. It’s incredible. I’m looking forward to the feedback we get when people walk in for the first time. After all, we’re doing all of this to better serve our customers. Thanks to them, we’re still i.g. Burton and Company 111 years later. I am very proud of that.”
i.g. Burton and Company Inc has stores in Milford, Seaford, Lewes and Smyrna, and Berlin. The company offers new Chevrolet, Buick, GMC, Chrysler, Dodge, Jeep, Ram, Fiat, Promaster, BMW, Mercedes-Benz, Sprinter, Blue Bird Bus, and pre-owned vehicles. Visit igburton.com for more information.