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$5 million expansion for Mercedes dealership

Opened shortly before the recession, the Valencia dealership is growing

Posted: February 14, 2013 2:00 a.m.
Updated: February 14, 2013 2:00 a.m.

Owner and general manager Michael Sage, center right, leads a meeting in the showroom at Mercedes-Benz of Valencia.

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Building a new dealership in one of the toughest recessions in history is no easy task, but Mercedes-Benz of Valencia managed to do just that.

And now the dealership is investing just under $5 million to expand its showroom and service center on Valencia Blvd. in Santa Clarita, according to one of its owners.

When the Mercedes-Benz dealership opened its doors to a new showroom on Valencia Blvd. in December of 2005, it was one of the first brand new dealerships to launch in the Los Angeles area in over 20 years.

And despite managing through one of the worst economic turndowns in nearly eight decades, Mercedes-Benz of Valencia found a way to continue supporting 75 families of employees without laying anyone off during the same period it was working on building the new dealership’s business, said Mike Sage, one of the owners of the Sage Automotive Group.

Since then, the dealership has increased its staff, now employing 85 people, Sage said.

The privately owned, family-run automotive group owns and operates several Los Angeles County dealerships – Mercedes-Benz of Valencia among them.

By 2012, as the automotive market began turning around, sales at the luxury vehicle dealership jumped more than 21 percent.

Mercedes-Benz of Valencia went from selling 740 cars in 2011 to 898 vehicles in 2012, said Bill Mastroianni, general manager with the Sage Automotive Group.

In a nod to its success, Mercedes-Benz USA also just honored the dealership for landing in the top 15 percent of all dealers nationwide in 2012.

Earning a manufacturer’s Best of the Best Dealer Recognition Award for outstanding performance in 2012, Mercedes-Benz of Valencia was recognized for customer satisfaction, new and certified pre-owned sales, leadership and management, and its service and parts operation.

“We are extremely proud to win the Best of the Best award for 2012,” said James Salas, general sales manager in a statement to the press. “This represents the culmination of our efforts in providing exceptional customer service, one customer at a time.”

Looking ahead, Sage projects a very positive outcome for 2013. And based on that optimism, Mercedes-Benz of Valencia is planning to add nearly 5,000 square feet to the showroom and service center, Sage said.

The dealership also plans to finish the development of a new lot behind the dealership and add new landscaping, he said.

Adding a unique feature to the showroom, there will also be a display area for the high performance Mercedes AMG vehicles, Sage said.

Like the German-engineered, high powered vehicles – Mercedes-Benz of Valencia also put some muscle behind helping to build the William S. Hart softball and baseball PONY League park that sits behind the dealership.

In early 2011, the dealership donated money to help rebuild the baseball diamond, Sage said. “It was exciting for the dealership to contribute to the community,” he said.

For now, the Sage Automotive Group looks forward to this year. Sage projects that Mercedes-Benz of Valencia will sell over 1,000 new, and 300 pre-owned, vehicles.

“We are growing,” Sage said. “We’re going to be profitable and increase our staff to just under 100 employees by the end of the year.”

jana@signalscv.com

661-287-5599

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