SALINAS, Calif. – The new owner of Monterey Harley-Davidson is predicting his dealership will be one of the Motor Co.’s top three stores in Central California within 90 days of last weekend’s grand opening, despite the company’s insistence on a location that wasn’t what the dealer wanted.
Cardinale Automotive Group bought the dealership in June with a plan to move to the Salinas Auto Mall. They bought a former Chrysler dealership there, but at the last minute Harley-Davidson gave the site the thumbs-down.
"They said it could negatively affect northern dealerships," general manager Matt Lachman told the Monterey Herald. There are dealerships in nearby Morgan Hill and San Jose and a PG&A store on Cannery Row. But auto group owner Tom Cardinale questions the wisdom of assigning territories.
"We don't think customers buy by territory," he said. "They buy where they are happier and get better service."
Lachman said the store will stay at its current site for two years, but might consider moving to Monterey or Seaside after that to "better serve the whole area."
The dealership was closed for roughly 100 days until Cardinale Automotive Group purchased it from a group of four owners who had operated the dealership since 2008.
The dealership opened nine weeks ago, but held its grand opening Nov. 3.
Posted by Holly Wagner