Schuman sells off last part of its auto business
The sale of Schuman's Subaru distributorship to Servco Pacific ends its 114-year legacy of vehicle sales in Hawaii
Servco Pacific Inc. has bought Hawaii's Subaru distributorship and affiliated assets from Schuman Inc. for an undisclosed price.
"We are basically acquiring the assets of the Subaru distribution business," which supplies vehicles to dealerships and parts to service centers, said Glenn Inouye, Servco senior vice president.
He said yesterday that all seven employees will be offered employment at Servco, which is also the distributor for Suzuki and Toyota and its Lexus and Scion brands.
Servco also will establish a new Subaru dealership at Servco Mapunapuna Plaza, formerly known as Toyota City -- and will perform maintenance and repair service at its Kilihau Street facility.
As Hawaii's new Subaru's steward, Servco will "continue to work with the existing dealer network," on the Big Island and Maui, Inouye said.*
Kauai does not have a Subaru dealership, but Servco owns a Toyota dealership there.
Oahu Subaru dealer Pflueger Auto Group LLC plans to stop selling Subaru vehicles.
Subaru customers will receive a letter from Servco "to direct them to our new ... facilities," Inouye said.
Servco and Schuman started negotiating last summer.
"It has taken awhile," Inouye said. "It is a significant transaction ... this was the business they were in for awhile."
The late Gustav E. "Dutch" Schuman, third-generation auto dealer, a rancher and prominent member of the Hawaiian community, acquired the Subaru distributorship in 1974.
He became a Subaru dealer as well, operating four dealerships until they were sold beginning in 2004.
That same year the company completed sales of its NAPA Auto Parts stores, which Schuman had purchased in 1955.
The family's South Beretania Street dealership, selling Buick, Cadillac, GMC, Hummer and Oldsmobile vehicles, was closed in November of 2004, then reopened in 2005 by another kamaaina automobile-dealing family business, Pflueger Auto Group LLC. Pflueger operates Oahu's four former Schuman-owned Subaru dealerships.
Pflueger officials could not be reached for comment.
The elder Schuman died in August of 2005, at age 76 -- and the acquisition ends his family's involvement in the automotive industry it entered in 1893 with a horse-drawn carriage business.
The name Schuman Carriage Co. Ltd. is still around as a holding company, with no automotive business assets.
The decision to sell was not difficult, said Gustav's son Richard, vice president of Schuman Inc.
The family still owns a horse and cattle ranch on the Big Island and he and his siblings have their own businesses, such as Schuman Aviation Co., operator of Makani Kai Helicopters.
"Most people hate change, but, you know, it's going to Servco. I mean, hello, they've got great service and the money behind them to take care of the customers. It's much better for Subaru customers," he said.
Friday, March 9, 2007
» Servco Pacific Inc. will become Oahu's sole Subaru distributor and dealer in separate business deals. A story on Page C1 yesterday incorrectly said that Servco would work with existing Oahu Subaru dealers after purchasing the statewide distributorship from Schuman Inc. Instead, Oahu Subaru dealer Pflueger Auto Group LLC plans to stop selling Subaru vehicles. Servco said it will continue to work with existing Subaru dealership networks on the neighbor islands.