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Manager makes homecoming deal

Automobile: The general manager of Galpin of Santa Clarita first started with the company in 1995

Posted: February 2, 2012 2:00 a.m.
Updated: February 2, 2012 2:00 a.m.

David Gillum Jr., general manager of Galpin of Santa Clarita, poses at the Valencia dealership.

 


David Gillum Jr. is looking to give back to his community by taking the helm of the same dealership where he started his auto career 14 years ago.

Gillum, who began as general manager of Galpin of Santa Clarita in late December, is a Santa Clarita resident, and has already filled his management staff with locals, as well — a move he thinks is beneficial to both clients and employees.
“We feel comfortable selling to friends and families and they can feel comfortable about who they’re buying from,” Gillum said.

The military veteran is right where he planned to end up after leaving the armed forces in 1995.

Since he was interested in joining the auto industry, Galpin Motors, with a presence all across the Santa Clarita and San Fernando valleys, was “the place I would like to try to get into,” he said.

In 1998, he moved to Santa Clarita and started as a sales consultant at Galpin.

“I loved it,” he said, “but I wanted more.”

So he left the dealership field for a short period to gain experience in online car sales, then took over as general manager at Glendale Star Mazda, where he led the dealership for seven years.

But Gillum felt the tug to work closer to home, and contacted Galpin when there was an opportunity to return to his first dealership as general manager.

“They felt they needed someone who was more involved in the community and kind of has a passion for the community,” Gillum said.

Going into his eighth year managing a dealership, Gillum said the biggest challenge is educating the public on the benefits of buying a car in this economy.

“Fuel economy is at a peak that it’s never been,” he said. “And I don’t think they know they can trade in their current vehicle and make lower payments.”

Additionally, he wants to promote and market Galpin Santa Clarita more, because right now the general public thinks of the San Fernando Valley locations: North Hills, Van Nuys and Mission Hills.

But, ultimately, Gillum aims to give Galpin a bigger community presence, especially since more of the staff is local now. While Galpin has contributed to nearby schools and organizations, he wants to turn himself into a face of the company and be out in the community more.

Among Gillum’s plans for community outreach is a monthly cars and coffee event at the dealership starting March 18, to show off classic cars and create “a little hangout area on Sundays.”

“We’re just kind of changing the face,” he said.

Galpin of Santa Clarita is located at 23645 Creekside Road in Valencia at the location of the former Saturn dealership.

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