Thursday, September 30, 2004

Subaru dealerships
will stay open

Subaru dealerships owned by Schuman Carriage Co. will stay open, contrary to what the company announced yesterday.

Schuman will retain and operate the Kaimuki dealership at 3361 Waialae Ave., though that address was cited among locations the company would close before the end of the year, in a notice filed with the state. Schuman President Mark Oshio also said Tuesday the Schuman-owned Subaru dealerships would close.

Company officials would not explain the discrepancy.

"It is a very successful operation for us," said Schuman spokeswoman Anne Hunter.

The Waipahu sales and service dealership is in the process of being sold to Carl Morley, Schuman's overall general sales manager, for an undisclosed price.

"I plan to take over the Waipahu dealership in, probably, December," Morley said. At the time of the transition, Morley's renamed Ohana Subaru will employ 18 or 19 people, including the current staff and a few employees from the current Schuman headquarters on Beretania Street.

The dealership will continue to sell new and used autos and will service all types of vehicles, but by then it will no longer be an authorized warranty station for General Motors. Aside from the ownership change, Schuman this week announced it will terminate its franchisee relationship with the Detroit automaker and will close dealerships that sell and service GM-made vehicles.

The Waipahu dealership operates on land subleased from Tony Hawaii Automotive Group Ltd., which used to have a Mazda dealership at the site.

Morley, a 46-year kamaaina, joined Schuman nine years ago from the management staff at Tony Hawaii. He previously worked at Pearl Harbor Volkswagen-Subaru and Universal Motors at 404 Piikoi St., before the lot was redeveloped.

Schuman will also continue in its role as the Hawaii distributor for Subaru, providing the vehicles to dealerships.



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