Sales: (877) 691-9176
Service: (877) 701-1238

1752 E. Norris Dr, Ottawa, IL 61350

Our History

About Us

Welcome and thank you for choosing the Bill Walsh Automotive Group. For four generations, we have been a family owned business committed to serving all of your automotive needs whether it be sales, leasing, service, parts, body shop, internet, accessories, quick lube or just information. Your complete satisfaction has always been our first priority and we appreciate the opportunity to earn your business. Since we opened the doors of our first dealership on Main Street in Ottawa, our motto has always been:

"OUR CUSTOMERS ARE OUR FRIENDS"

LaSalle County's Largest Dealer

Bill Walsh Automotive Group has nine separate showrooms, five mechanical and repair centers, four parts departments, four reconditioning departments and over 250 employees located on four campuses through the County.

The dealership teams are servicing nearly 80,000 vehicles per year and the sales departments are keeping pace as one of the largest dealer groups in the country.

Each dealership has recently gone through extensive remodeling and updating. We have reinvested in our business because we believe this is an investment in YOUR satisfaction and YOUR peace of mind.

The Bill Walsh Team has held the very top rank in Customer Satisfaction in our General Motors Service Departments each and every month since 2001. The Bill Walsh General Motors dealerships are multi-year winners of the prestigious GM Mark of Excellence awards. The Bill Walsh Chrysler dealerships have been Five Star certified since the program's inception! These are accomplishments achieved by only a limited number of dealerships NATIONALLY! General Motors, in fact, said about the Bill Walsh organization that "being named a recipient of the GM Mark of Excellence Awards is an accomplishment reserved for only a very few outstanding organizations in the GM family, and [the awards] are a symbol of exceptional individual performance".

Each year, Bill Walsh has achieved recognition awards for industry leading advancements in technology, performance, facility improvements & design, training standards, employee quality and customer care initiatives. Many of the Bill Walsh team members have also been nationally recognized for their leadership and individual commitments to excellence.

Community Counts

The Bill Walsh team has been a vocal and involved friend of many local organizations, charities and causes that better our home towns and help the citizens enjoy a better quality of life. The Bill Walsh Automotive Group supports organizations that address environmental, health and social issues of the communities we serve.

You don't have to look far to find Bill Walsh employees working side-by-side with local organizations to help make a difference. We have been serving the LaSalle County area for four generations and we are proud of our communities. Bill Walsh and the Bill Walsh Team have contributed over $250,000 to local charities, civic causes and those in need just since 2001.

Some of the organizations and causes we have helped out include:

  • Ottawa YMCA
  • Ottawa High School Foundation
  • Ottawa High School Manual Arts
  • Marquette High School
  • Community Hospital of Ottawa Foundation
  • Ottawa Scouting Museum
  • Driver's Education Programs:
  • Ottawa High School
  • Leland High School
  • Serena High School
  • The Family Room
  • Ottawa Opportunity School
  • Youth Service Bureau
  • St. Mary's Hospital/Streator
  • IVCC and Foundation
  • Ottawa Friendship House
  • Horizon House
  • Peru YMCA
  • Streator YMCA
  • Streator 4th of July

You Can't Beat Bill Walsh

  • The ONLY Body Shop that has the Good Housekeeping Seal of Approval
  • The ONLY factory authorized body shop in LaSalle County
  • Daimler-Chrysler Five Star Certified
  • Multi-year GM Mark of Excellence award winner for exceptional customer care
  • 100% certified technicians and sales staff for hassle free sales and service experiences
  • FREE car wash with all service visits*
  • Express Quick Lube always for $19.95**
  • Courtesy Shuttle to home or work
  • The LAST dealership to offer loaner cars (by appointment) to keep you ON THE GO
  • FULL SERVICE accessories department
  • ON SITE Ziebart protection services
  • North Central Illinois' LARGEST selection of new and used vehicles
  • FREE 3 month / 3,0000 miles warranties on all used vehicles
  • 10% off service specials for any customers 50 or better
  • 10% off FLEET DISCOUNTS for companies
  • FULL TIME internet department
  • FULL TIME Finance Manager for those customers that need a little extra credit help
  • OPEN 6 DAYS A WEEK!
  • Community Committment
  • FREE coordination of warranty claims
  • FREE coordination with your insurance company in our state-of-the-art Body Shop

Our Values & Our Culture

  1. We practice teamwork and treat each other with the same respect we afford our family and friends. We adhere to the belief that if we take care of each other, we will be able to take care of our customers.
  2. Genuine courteous care extended towards our customers to ensure they return is our highest mission. Display genuine and enthusiastic interest in the customer, and always pay complete attention.
  3. Smile and greet every customer. Speak to the customer in a warm, friendly manner. Use their names as often as possible. Always use appropriate vocabulary and avoid slang or automobile industry jargon.
  4. Thank the customer for their business and bid them a fond farewell when they are leaving. Make the last impression of our dealership memorable and positive.
  5. Anticipate customers' needs and be flexible in responding to them. Practice proactive customer service. Pick up on non-verbal cues to initiate personalized service and to "wow" the customer.
  6. Be knowledgeable about your job. Attend all training courses required for your position. Help yourself understand the roles everyone in the dealership plays so you know how to best help the customer and answer their questions or direct them to the appropriate dealership personnel without wasting the customers' time.
  7. Any team member who receives a complaint "owns" the complaint. Therefore, you should do everything in youir power to satisfy the customer 100%. Follow customer follow up procedures and courtesies and speak with your manager immediately. If it's a concern of our customer, it's a concern to us. They are one-in-the-same!
  8. It is everyone's responsibility to learn and honor our customer's preferences so we can better tailor their visits and can better anticipate their needs.
  9. It is the responsibility of everyone in the dealership to report any and all physical plant, building or inventory defects.
  10. Uncompromising standards of cleanliness are everyone's duty. Your responsibility for a clean and uncluttered environment does not end with your immediate area. If you see anything you find objectionable, fix it, pick it up or report it. We all want the customer to be enthused to visit our dealerships.
  11. This is a great place to work. Always be an advocate of the dealership and our franchises, both at work and at play. Avoid being negative. We all spend a lot of time together, more than with our own families. If there is a "better way", bring it up to a manager or one of the Walsh family. We want to make it right.
  12. Always recognize repeat customers and our commercial accounts.
  13. Be knowlegeable about the dealership processes and what each department offers. Walk customers to their destination---do NOT point and give directions.
  14. Use your very best telephone etiquette. Our customers are busy people. We advertise our phone number every day. When someone calls in to us, they need us. Always ask the caller's permission to be placed on hold or transferred. When transferring, make sure someone in the department you are transferring to is available to accept the phone call. The phone is often THE first impression of our dealerships. When answering the phone, collect yourself, take a deep breath and SMILE!
  15. All BWAG team members MUST be in approved BWAG apparel so that our customers can recognize a BWAG employee in case they need information or directions. Personal hygiene if of the utmost importance.
  16. The safety and security of our customers and team members is of top importance. Know what to do in emergency situations and please alert any manager if you see a potential problem BEFORE it happens.
  17. Know and understand the equal opportunity and harassment policies of the dealerships. We will not tolerate any violations of these policies and we act swiftly if they are violated. Bill Walsh is a safe, fair and equal employer and we want all of our customers and team members to feel completely at home and comfortable when at any Bill Walsh facility. Any violations should be reported immediately to a manager or Walsh family member.
  18. Protect and care for the assets of the dealership. Use our resources wisely. Eliminate waste. Ensure proper maintenance and repair of all property and equipment.
  19. Bring ALL ideas to improve the dealerships to a Walsh family member. Our best ideas have come from customers and team members. We LOVE new ideas and it's fun to watch your idea come to life! We have to continually improve our processes. Our customers' needs change. Our industry is very competitive. We cannot rely on what we did yesterday as a sure way to success tomorrow. ALWAYS BE THINKING! ALWAYS BE WATCHING FOR OPPORTUNITY!
  20. Find a way to say "YES" to customers and fellow employees. It's often not as easy and might take a little extra effort, but in the end, the customer will be the beneficiary of a positive outlook and that extra effort!
  21. Understand the dealerships' histories in LaSalle County and how we have evolved into the Group we are. Be proud of our long history and the great tenure of our employees. We're Different, and THAT is the Bill Walsh Difference!
  22. Volunteer in our communities where ever you can. We owe our success to our communities and we have always "given back". Let's show our home towns how much the Bill Walsh Team can impact our favorite causes.

I DIDN'T KNOW THAT:

  • The Bill Walsh "Warm & Fuzzy" means money: Our best advertisement is a satisfied customer. Do you know someone in your circle of friends or in your family that might be in need of a new or used vehicle? Write your name on the back of YOUR sales consultant's business card and if your referral purchases or leases a vehicle from Bill Walsh because of the Warm & Fuzzy experience you told them about, we'll send you $50!
  • You're on EZ-STREET at Bill Walsh: We've been in the automobile business for four generations. We know everyone runs into credit concerns and there's nothing we haven't seen. So please don't be embarrassed. We help many people on a weekly basis obtain credit they didn't know they could secure. First-time buyers, slow credit, no credit, bankruptcy, divorce, medical problems? Let our full time credit manager talk to you in a confidential interview. We can let you know about auto credit quickly and easily.

Bill Walsh Body Shop? YES!

For over 25 years, Bill Walsh has been building a Body Shop business second to NONE. We are the ONLY factory authorized body shop in LaSalle County. This means your pride-and-joy will be returned to it's like-new condition using factory trained technicians applying the same paint, materials and craftsmanship found at the very factory where your car or truck was built! No one else can say that. AND, Bill Walsh was just awarded the coveted Good Housekeeping Seal of Approval based on a rigorous test of quality, facility, equipment and customer care that our team passed with flying colors! The Good Housekeeping Seal is a REAL feather in our hat and is NOT passed out to just any organization. We have made significant investments in our equipment and processes and our technicians are the best trained anywhere!

OUR WHITE GLOVES ARE WAITING FOR YOU

Would you buy your washing machine or your lawn mower from someone who doesn't fix them? Of course not. Let Bill Walsh show you the Difference in EXPERIENCE and TRAINING.

PERSONALIZE YOUR RIDE

  • List accessories
  • Bedliners
  • Bug shields
  • Ziebart
  • Spray in liners
  • Radios
  • Phones
  • 90 day same as cash card
  • floor mats
  • warranty
  • keyless remote
  • remote starts

WHAT DO ALL YOUR ADS ACTUALLY MEAN?

Automobile advertising can be tricky to understand at times. At Bill Walsh we strive, and always have, for clear, concise advertising that allows our customers and prospective customers to gather information necessary to make what is often the second biggest investment in their lives.

We mirror those laws set forth by the Illinois Attorney General and our marketing department and management team checks the most current editions of the "Illinois Administrative Rules on Motor Vehicle Advertising" to ensure we are following the newest regulations to the letter. We are legislated to format our advertisements in ways that are clear and conspicuous to the consumer. We must follow rigid disclosure parameters as well as carefully edit the language, abbreviations and warranty claims advertised. We are even legislated to format our ads by print style and type size.

We feel that this is best for our customer and also "cleans up" our industry and closes the loop holes on standardization and professionalism in the automobile business.

At Bill Walsh you can be assured that the advertisements you see and hear are what they appear to be on the surface. We have a department that stays abreast of all of the new rebates, manufacture programs and the like so that we are always bringing our customers fresh news on a timely basis.

We focus on "price" and "payment" because those are important ingredients in our customers' buying decisions. We ALWAYS deliver what we advertise. When we advertise a price, that IS the price. The only additions are sales tax, license and title fees and the documentation fee. This is also always disclosed in our ads.

All lease and finance company/bank details including residual values, lease or bank rates, mileage limits or credit requirements are disclosed in each ad and by vehicle advertised, again, to make your information gathering process straight forward.

All of our disclosures are typically at the bottom of each advertisement, at the end of each radio ad or in the later frames of a TV commercial.

BUY OR LEASE?

More than one third of consumers lease their vehicles instead of buying them. One of the greatest benefits of leasing is that you get to drive a newer vehicle more frequently and with most leases running concurrently with the factory warranty on your car, seldom need more than routine maintenance such as oil changes.

The reason so many customers are choosing leasing is that they pay for only the portion of the vehicle they use. They don't pay for the entire amount. Your monthly payments are based on the difference between the vehicle's sale price (it's "capitalized cost") and what the car or truck is estimated by the leasing company to be worth at the end of the lease term (the "residual value"). Also, typically in a lease you need only your first month's payment, refundable security deposit and license plate fees "up front", instead of a percentage down as is often required in conventional purchase contracts. When the lease term is over, you just turn in the vehicle. You don't own it at the end, but you also don't owe anything on it either. You will be charged for miles driven in excess of those agreed upon in your contract, but buying miles in a lease is much less expensive than suffering the consequences of how the appraisal books value a vehicle with high miles when it's trade in time.

In short, the "bullet point" advantages as outlined by Buzz Doering, a nationally recognized leasing expert for over 25 years and author of "The Buzz on Leasing" are:

  • You get more car for the money. Typically your lease payments are less on a lease, so you can choose extra equipment you might not have been able to afford in a purchase.
  • You have NO depreciation risk. When you buy a car, you are gambling on used vehicle futures. You enter the world of trade value volatility and negotiation. With leasing you are completely insulated from depreciation because your car's value is the problem of the leasing company. You get to use the car's best part when it's new and then just turn it in when it's time for car owners to consider tires, tune-ups and timing belts.
  • There' s NO haggling over your trade-in's value when it's time to move into a new car. You just turn it in and pick out your next car.
  • You get to drive a new car more often. Because you choose the term of your contract, you decide when you get a new car. You can choose to match your lease term to the warranty of your vehicle and always be protected by factory warranty. You can enjoy the best part of the car buying experience by always being only a short time away from moving into the latest in technology, safety, style or creature comforts.
  • With leasing, you are automatically limiting your liability in the case of a serious accident. When you purchase your car, your insurance will typically only cover you up to a limit of $300,000. In a lease, because you don't own the car, the leasing company does, the leasing company is then liable for claims in excess of the $300,000.
  • Even in a low interest rate environment, make sure you don't just jump at the low interest rate. It may not be your best move. Compare. We have found lease payments are still less expensive than the low interest rate payments and most importantly, with your low interest rate purchase, you still are making yourself 100% vulnerable to the volatility of your vehicle's value at the time you want to trade it in.
  • GAP insurance is standard on most leases. GAP stands for: What this means is that if you wreck your car and your insurance company claims it's worth $10,000, but your bank note payoff is $15,000, YOU are liable for the difference. In nearly all leases, that GAP or difference is covered by the leasing company.
  • For businesses leasing there are considerable tax advantages. First, a lease is true off-balance sheet "borrowing". Since the company doesn't own the vehicle (the leasing company does) the vehicle(s) do not show as either an asset or a liability and often help in meeting certain total debt covenants in a company's banking relationship which leaves important availability on working lines of credit. The company can use it's lines of credit to help grow the business instead of tying up these funds in depreciation assets. Additionally, the lease payment is written directly as a rental expense which comes directly off the income statement and therefore reduces tax liability. As just one more benefit, leasing allows companies to have a more presentable, newer fleet of vehicles that cost them less in maintenance and up keep while providing the company a better image to it's clients.
  • A final consideration is that currently the leasing companies are charging .15 to .18 per mile for miles driven in EXCESS of the miles you agreed you'd drive each year of your lease. All of the appraisal books are now charging .30 to .40 cents per mile for excess miles. For average to high mileage drivers, you can "buy" your miles at half price on a lease versus having a much larger charge against your car had you owned it and were negotiating to trade it in.

Insurance is the Law

Here are some tips:

Types of Coverage:

  • Bodily injury liability: Covers injury and/or death claims against you and legal costs if your car injures or kills someone.
  • Property damage liability: Covers claims for property that your car damages in an accident. Because liability coverage protects the other party, it is required in Illinois.
  • Collision coverage: Covers damage to your car up to its book value. Collision coverage carries a deductible, which is the amount per claim you have to pay before the insurance takes effect. The lower the deductible, the higher the premium (price of insurance).
  • Comprehensive coverage: Covers damage to your car from theft, vandalism, fire, wind, flood, and other non-accident causes.

What determines my insurance price?

Your age, gender, and driving record are key factors that affect you insurance premium. Single males under the age of 25 pay the highest rates. Statistics show this group is involved in the most accidents, so insurance companies charge young men higher premiums than women of the same age.

If you are convicted of moving traffic violations or cause accidents, your premiums will likely increase, no matter what your age. Drivers with no tickets or accidents pay the least in insurance premiums. Vehicle owners that live in urban areas also pay more for insurance than do owners living in suburban areas or in rural areas.

How much do I need?

The minimums currently in the State of Illinois are $20,000 per person/$40,000 per accident bodily injury insurance and $15,000 per accident for property damage liability. If you finance your vehicle either through a bank, a factory finance company or a leasing company, you will be required to carry collision insurance with no more than a $500 deductible.

Most insurance agents will recommend, due to the litigious climate today, that you carry at least $100,000 per person / $300,000 per accident in bodily injury insurance and $50,000 per accident in property damage insurance. In fact, some agents are further urging their clients to opt for $250,000 per person / $500,000 per accident in bodily injury insurance and $100,000 in property damage insurance.

You may also purchase uninsured/underinsured coverage which will help offset costs if you are hit by an uninsured or underinsured motorist. You may also purchase comprehensive insurance as described above, but it is not a requirement. It is, however, a good precaution as it will cover most damage associated with deer accidents, glass / stone / windshield chips, vandalism and even if rodents eat through your electrical wires (which has been know to happen in our rural areas).

For a low-risk individual with one car, no moving violations, a good driving record and out of the high-risk age categories, you can expect to pay $300-$500 per year for a $100,000/ $300,000/$50,000 policy. Additional cars in the family or additional drivers (spouse, children, etc) will affect your rates.

Make certain you purchase your insurance from a reputable, trustworthy and known source. In a time of need, you can't replace the comfort and peace of mind in dealing with an insurance agent that knows you and can recommend how to best handle your claim.

Additionally, the Bill Walsh Automotive Group dealerships offer our qualifying customers the option to purchase life and disability insurance right on our premises. These insurances are purchased by many, many customers to cover the payments to the bank in case one of the note holders dies or is unexpectedly unable to work and earn the income on which the decision to purchase or lease their vehicle was made.

All statements above are subject to change and can vary by state, county and city.

 

KEEPING KIDS SAFE: EXPERT ADVICE FROM THE NATIONAL SAFETY COUNCIL

AIR BAGS SAVE LIVES

An air bag is not a soft, fluffy pillow. To work most effectively (to save lives) an air bag comes out of your dash board (and if equipped your "A" and "B" pillars, door inserts or seat sides) at rates up to 200 miles per hour -FASTER than the blink of an eye. Drivers can entirely eliminate any danger to children from a deploying air bag by placing kids in the back seat in the proper restraint and safety devices. With or without airbags, the BACK SEAT is the safest place for young riders.

Bill Walsh has (depending on staff levels) as Child Safety Seat Installer licensed by the National Traffic Safety Board to ensure child seats are installed correctly. A child in a safety seat that is not installed correctly is as dangerous as not having a safety seat at all. Please call Sierra Motors at (815) 433-1666. Our Safety Seat Installer is located at this store at all times (when available) as part of our Volkswagen dealer agreement.

Air Bag & Safety Belt Tips:

Kids Ride In Back: Infants should NEVER ride in the front seat, especially in a vehicle with a front seat air bag. Children under 12 should ride in the back seat of any vehicle.

Child Safety Seats: Young children and infants should ALWAYS ride in age- and size-appropriate child safety seats. The safety seat should be held properly in place by the vehicle's safety belts and the child should be correctly buckled into the seat using all buckles and restraints as designed. A child who has outgrown a safety seat will need to ride on a booster seat until the vehicle's safety belts fit properly.

Wear Both Lap and Shoulder Belts: The shoulder strap should cross your collarbone, and the lap belt should fit low and tight across your waist. You should NEVER slip the shoulder belt under your arm or behind your shoulder as this defeats the purpose of the belt.

Move the Front Seats Back: Driver and front passenger seats should be moved as far back as practical where the driver can still reach the steering wheel and pedals comfortably without effort.

 

JOIN OUR TEAM

If you love people and want to become part of a fun, exciting business talk to us about joining the Bill Walsh Team!

We are always looking for new people who can bring new ideas and a fresh look on our business. You don't necessarily have to have "car business" experience. Some of our very best team members have come to us from a wide and diverse variety of other careers.