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Mini dealership coming to the SCV

Posted: December 5, 2012 2:00 a.m.
Updated: December 5, 2012 2:00 a.m.

The city approved a permit for the Mini Cooper of Valencia dealership. A Mini Cooper Roadster is seen above.

A building permit has been issued by the city of Santa Clarita for the first phase of the new Mini Cooper of Valencia dealership to be located on Creekside Road, next to the Nissan of Valencia.

Formerly occupied by a Galpin dealership, AutoNation expects to begin work on the new dealership soon, said Marc Cannon, senior vice president with AutoNation.

“We’ve had a lot of success with Mini and make good decisions where we put franchises,” Cannon said. “We see this as an excellent market.”

Scheduled to open in May 2013, the $1.8-million renovation of the current structure is two-part, according to the city’s permitting department. Phase one involves the service area, which will undergo a complete remodeling and re-roofing.

Phase two plans are currently under review and involve demolishing the front half of the showroom and rebuilding it. The interior showroom will be completely remodeled.

Currently the building is 25,500 square feet with 28 auto bays.

AutoNation owns and operates all of its dealerships, numbering 268 vehicle franchises in 15 states, Cannon said.

“The company has been creating new dealerships a long time and is pretty good at turning them quickly,” he said.

Launched in 1959 by the British Motor Corp., Mini Cooper today is owned by BMW.

The new Mini Cooper of Valencia will complement the BMW dealership in Santa Clarita, Cannon said.

On Tuesday, the publically traded company reported new vehicle sales for November. Sales of domestic cars were up 9 percent over the prior year. By contrast, sales of import autos were up 27 percent and premium luxury vehicles were up 25 percent over the prior year.

Positive sales figures pushed its stock at close of trading up nearly 2 percent to $39.36 per share.

The Mini is a very distinctive brand that the American consumer has embraced, Cannon said. It is a small, sporty luxury car with high technology and German engineering. And with gas prices growing, AutoNation believes that the Mini will become a great alternative vehicle that is both efficient and comfortable, he said.

“It will do wonderful in Valencia,” Cannon said. “There is a huge demand for them and we think you’ll continue to see that grow.”



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