2014 BEST Luxury Car Dealer: Smothers European Volvo & Mercedes-Benz of Santa Rosa
Author: Beth Galleto
May, 2014 Issue
“We sell so many Mercedes because we can offer so many choices.” —John White
From John White’s point of view, the economy is improving: sales at Smothers European have been on an upturn for the past two years. White, sales manager/vice president of operations at Smothers, attributes a lot of this increase in luxury car sales to the brands it represents—Mercedes-Benz and Volvo—which offer “fantastic products and creative ways to help customers, such as affordable leasing and very low interest rates for purchase.”
White appreciates the fact that Smothers European has been voted North Bay’s BEST Luxury Car Dealer for the fourth consecutive year. “It’s nice to be recognized for doing the job we’re trying to do. This is validation for all the effort we put forth. We know there are lots of choices out there, and we’re glad [NorthBay biz readers] chose us.”
Smothers European is a third-generation, family-owned dealership located on Santa Rosa’s Auto Row. From its 1970 origin as an auto repair shop, the company has grown to add sales and service for Volvo in 1982 and Mercedes-Benz 10 years later. In 2011, it became a Mercedes-Benz Sprinter commercial van franchise. Service has gone hand-in-hand with sales, and Smothers has won service awards from both Volvo and Mercedes-Benz.
White says both companies have introduced exciting new products in the past year. For Volvo, it’s the V60T5, a new, four-cylinder sport wagon. “Volvo has always had a sport wagon, going back to its roots. The V60 highlights safety and environmental consciousness. It’s four-cylinder, low emission, 37 miles-per-gallon and 95 percent recyclable.” He notes that Volvo has a four-cylinder engine available in most models now.
Last year, Mercedes-Benz introduced the CLA, a small, four-door coupe that sold for $29,900—about half what people would typically expect for a brand new Mercedes-Benz, White says. New for this year is a GLA-class crossover vehicle. “It’s a compact crossover SUV—not quite a wagon, not quite an SUV, but a cross between the two,” he says.
On the other end of the spectrum is the new Mercedes SLS Final Edition. “It’s absolutely gorgeous,” says White. “It’s roughly a $250,000 car. We’ll be getting one of only 350 built, heading for our showroom in mid 2014.”
For those who want to reduce their gasoline use, there’s the Mercedes B-class fully electric vehicle. For purchasers of electric cars, Smothers recently installed two charging stations at the dealership.
“We sell so many Mercedes because we can offer so many choices,” says White. “Prices range from $29,900 to $250,000, and they all look great.”
Because Smothers provides excellent, knowledgeable service as well as selling quality products, it’s built up a healthy level of repeat business. White says that Smothers’ staff looks beyond today’s sale to establish a long-term relationship. The goal is to create a client for life.
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Located at 1410 Neotomas Ave. in Santa Rosa,NorthBay biz magazine is a monthly business-to-business publication covering Napa, Sonoma and Marin counties. This year, the magazine is celebrating 43 years of continuous operation. It originally hit the stands in 1975, when it was called Sonoma Business, and only covered Sonoma County. Norm and Joni Rosinski and John Dennis, acquired it in 2000 and changed its name to cover an expanded market. Today, the magazine is part of Amaturo Sonoma Media Group. More here..