Subaru is coming to Temecula and construction at the John Hine dealership on Ynez Road is right on schedule with the opening scheduled for the end of July.
“It would be ideal if it coincided with the six-year anniversary of the John Hine Temecula Mazda dealership on July 26,” said Vice-President and General Manager Bill Brumbaugh, who opened the Mazda dealership in 2007. John Hine was a charter Mazda dealer in San Diego in 1971 and Brumbaugh has been with the group for 30 years.
“Ever since Subaru contacted us a year ago,” said Brumbaugh, “we have been excited about bringing the brand to Temecula. They are ranked number one in safety and reliability and they are the only car company with increased sales and profits for five straight years. Subaru’s are unique in their DNA, combining symmetrical all-wheel-drive with great mpg (miles per gallon), utility, safety, styling, performance and value. ”
“The go-anywhere product line is a great fit for this area and demographic. Typically, Subaru customers are adventurous, freedom-loving, value-oriented, safety-conscious and environmentally savvy. And this area is perfect for the product line,” said Brumbaugh. “We are in wine country, 30 minutes from the beach, one hour from hiking and skiing in the mountains, just over an hour to the desert…a real mecca of outdoor activity!”
Subaru research has shown that Subaru owners are three times more likely to hike and bike, three times more likely to be volunteers and cause-oriented, and 3.5 times more likely to own a pet.
As part of the new dealer process, Brumbaugh spent a week at the Lafayette, Indiana plant that builds the Outback, Legacy, and Tribeca models (and in 2016, the redesigned Impreza model). The Lafayette plant is categorized as a “zero landfill” plant, meaning that everything is recycled. Food scraps are composted, dust and dirt are filtered, metals are recycled and re-used, and plastics are also recycled. The Indiana location is the only US automobile production plant to be designated a backyard wildlife habitat by the National Wildlife Federation.
Brumabaugh was so impressed with its eco-friendliness that he immediately instituted recycling programs and a partnership with Temecula Recycling at the Mazda dealership upon his return.
The new Subaru dealership will also meet the stringent requirements to be classified as an eco-friendly business – recycled materials are used in the construction, LED lighting on sensors, low-flush toilets, biodegradable janitorial supplies, in-house recycling programs, etc.
“We even re-used the asphalt we broke up in the parking lot as foundation fill for the new building,” said Brumbaugh.
The Subaru dealership will have a positive economic impact on the area, immediately adding twelve new jobs as well as the sales tax revenues from additional new car sales. They will have 150 new cars on the lot and their six-month sales target is 75 new cars per month. The dealership will also benefit from economies of scale in shared support, service, and administrative resources.
“This will give us the best 1-2 punch on the block,” says Brumbaugh, who will be general manager of both dealerships. “Mazda provides the ‘zoom-zoom’ with the Sky-Active technology and Subaru provides the all-wheel drive throughout the breadth of the product line, except for the BRZ sports car, of course.”
Brumbaugh, who is one of only seven on the National Product Team, also hinted at the all-new Mazda 3 due in showrooms in August.
“You have to see this!” he said.
Mazda sales were up 13 percent in May, according to Automotive News, and Subaru recorded its best sales months ever in March selling 36,701 units. Subaru US sales are up almost 15 percent on the year while number two import leader Nissan is down 1.8 percent in the same period, according to autotribute.com.
“There is a great selection of automotive products here on the Temecula Auto Mall. You don’t have to leave Temecula,” said Brumbaugh. “This is a great business to be in (no one’s going to walk in California), a great community to service, and we’re excited to have great products to share!”