Subaru dealership changes hands, will remain open
Post Independent Editor
Glenwood Springs, CO Colorado
GLENWOOD SPRINGS, Colorado – The two owners of Glenwood Springs Ford on Friday completed the purchase of the Vista Auto Group Subaru franchise and will open the business Monday as Glenwood Springs Subaru.
The Subaru dealership and service center is moving to Vista Auto Group’s Chevrolet dealership location at 175 Storm King Road, just north of the Ford dealership, said Jeff Carlson, co-owner of the new dealership.
“We’ll be open for business on Monday morning. That’s the magic,” Carlson said Friday after completing the transaction. “We saved the Subaru dealership.”
Carlson and partner Steve Nilsson, who own Glenwood Springs Ford, are the two owners of the new Glenwood Springs Subaru franchise. The purchase was important to keep new car sales and a qualified service center in the valley, where the Subaru brand is popular.
Carlson said some Subaru owners assumed the dealership was already out of business after Vista announced its plans to leave the Glenwood Springs market on April 27. In fact, the dealership and service center remained open, but would have faced closure by May 31 if a buyer couldn’t be found.
Vista Auto Group is owned by a set of six holding companies that are, in turn, owned by Brian J. Pope of Vail, according to business registrations on file with the Colorado Secretary of State.
“We absorbed most of the personnel from the Subaru dealership,” Carlson said. “We are starting with 18 employees, but pretty soon we will ramp up to 22 or 23 employees. Our goal was to keep some employment going in the community. We can’t just keep losing jobs here.”
Vista Auto Group employed 45 people in its Subaru, Honda and Chevrolet dealerships. It closed the doors on its Honda dealership and service center in mid-March.
“We were sad to see Vista go. They were really good people,” Carlson said. “But we were able to preserve one of the franchises.”
For now, it appears the Chevrolet line will no longer be available through Glenwood Springs auto dealers. The recession has pushed other automakers out as well, including Nissan, Volvo, Chrysler and Dodge.
Hours at the new Glenwood Springs Subaru dealership will be 8-5 weekdays for service and 8-6 weekdays and 8-5 Saturdays for sales. Telephone numbers for the dealership remain the same as they were for Vista Auto Group and Vista Subaru, Carlson said.
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