Jim Trainer has big plans as a Saturn dealer.
He just opened his second Saturn dealership in less than four years.
The new one is in fast-growing Chino, CA.
Just in time for Saturn's new LS series of midsize cars, Saturn of Chino Valley occupies a new 38,000-sq.- ft. building that is among the largest of any Saturn store.
It compares to 17,000 sq. ft. at Trainer's other point, Saturn of Ontario, which was one of the last "minimalist" buildings built when the 10-year-old franchise sold only one line of subcompact cars.
Mr. Trainer says, "When you get bigger, you need more room. So we opted for the largest of Saturn's building models, with plenty of room to display and service both the L and LS models, and what's coming down the road."
A sports utility vehicle is due in 2001. The SUV is expected to be built in Wilmington, DE.
"The workers at Wilmington are just as gung-ho about Saturn as those in Spring Hill, TN," Saturn Corp. President Cynthia Trudell told a crowd at the opening of Mr. Trainer's new store.
The event included mayors of Chino and Chino Hills, about 60 miles east of Los Angeles.
Mr. Trainer, the first black Saturn dealer to open one of the larger buildings, plans to sell about 400 to 500 LS cars a year after capacity output is reached in Delaware for the LS model . .
His Ontario store sold about 700 L models last year.
Mr. Trainer sold a four-franchise GM store in Warner-Robins, GA, to move west and undertake Saturn of Ontario. "We committed everything to Saturn in 1995 - and it has paid off," he tells Ward's Dealer Business as the opening-day crowd mingled.
"They say California is import heaven but Saturn is doing quite well out here, with a good chunk of the two million owners Saturn has gotten in the 1990s. I'm confident the LS will add to our market share because of the loyalty this brand has."