ABC Celebrates 40 Years at Winter Garden, Florida, location
Originally opened as a small service facility on the edge of an orange grove, 2016 will mark the ABC Florida location’s 40th year in operation. Started as a hobby during his “first retirement” by founder Clancy Cornell, the original five-acre facility in Winter Garden, Florida, fortuitously became the incubator for the company’s now nationwide repair and service network. The ABC Service division currently operates in 7 locations – covering the entire country from coast to coast.
In 1974 Clancy Cornell purchased a five-acre property in Winter Garden, Florida, just outside the Orlando area. “Our dad quickly recognized that the area’s booming tourism industry and its impact on tour and charter operations was driving strong demand for quality equipment and service,” says Dane Cornell, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer. “When he first opened shop in Winter Garden we were all hands-on with servicing the buses. We would literally drive the buses underneath a makeshift garage my dad constructed from a shipping container built with a lean-to roof.”
Now 40 years later, ABC’s Winter Garden facility boasts a modern sales and service operation that spans 56,000 square feet located on 30 acres. The location features a 10,000 sq. ft. collision facility, 10,000 sq. ft. paint and graphics operation with three paint booths, a 3,500 sq. ft. showroom and twenty-three service bays. Additionally two individual parts warehouses span 15,000 sq. feet, and provide on-site access to an extensive inventory of replacement parts for popular equipment makes and models on the road today. This enables ABC Service to provide quick turnaround on routine parts replacement and service requests. The parts facility also serves as the distribution center for weekly container shipments of Van Hool parts. As they arrive from overseas, shipments are sorted and deployed from the Florida location to replenish ABC parts and service centers around the country.
Winter Garden serves as the receiving center for all OEM Van Hool equipment. As new coaches arrive in port at New Brunswick, Georgia, ABC’s PDI Group (pre-delivery and inspection) is responsible for all aspects of approving, processing and handling all new coach deliveries prior to turning over to customers for delivery. Winter Garden is also the location of ABC’s Nationwide CustomerCare Center. The CustomerCare group offers comprehensive warranty support for all OEM Van Hool models and staffs three in-house engineers who work in conjunction with ABC sales and field personnel to support the customer. It also serves as a liaison between ABC customers and Van Hool to facilitate product improvements and refinements based on customer feedback from the field.
The facility is home to the second and third generations of Cornell’s, who continue to steer the family-run business from their Florida location. The strategic location, combined with a full-service offering of sales, service, parts, warranty support and live customer support center make the facility the busiest of ABC’s locations nationwide.
“Four decades later, we are proud to celebrate Clancy’s vision and his business legacy,” states Tim Wayland, President & Chief Commercial Officer. “His innate ability to recognize a market need and fill that demand is a testimony to his business acumen. His exemplary leadership still motivates the ABC staff and management team today and is the driving force behind our ongoing market success.”
“It’s remarkable to reflect on our expansion from a five-acre outpost to a 30-acre campus today,” says Dane Cornell, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer. “Our steady growth is directly attributable to the loyalty of our great customers, a solid long-term partnership with Van Hool, and the day-to-day hard work and contributions of the ABC staff.” Today the ABC brand name is synonymous with quality and innovation built on customer relationships that have endured over 60 years. The company is committed to supporting the motorcoach industry by providing world-class sales, service and a support network that covers North America.