Jim Pattison Auto Group president Bill Harbottle is excited about where his company can take its newest Subaru dealership

SAUNDERS TRIBUTE: Bright future predicted for new Subaru dealer

Jim Pattison Auto Group to enhance Saunders offerings

Bill Harbottle has great respect for the way Bob Saunders and his family did business as a Subaru dealer on the old Island Highway.

Harbottle, the president of the Jim Pattison Auto Group which purchased the dealership this summer, is also well aware that the family’s involvement in the community extended far beyond the sales and service that happened on the lot.

“In terms of our involvement in the community and the initiatives that (the) Saunders were involved in, we’re definitely interested in continuing and maintaining those,” he said. “Through the discussions we’ve had with Dave Saunders, there will be a lot of these programs that we will partner or jointly participate in, in conjunction with the Saunders Family Foundation.”

Jim Pattison Subaru will support Comfy Kids – a vehicle is supplied to families in need with a child undergoing medical treatment in Vancouver – and the annual charity golf tournament that raises money for the foundation, among other things, Harbottle confirmed.

“Our general philosophy is that we do believe in giving back and we like to support initiatives and causes in the communities in which we operate,” he said. The Pattison way is to provide support in a way that benefits the most in need or the broadest number of people, a style that rather mirrors the philosophy of the Saunders family. “That’s a philosophy we have and practice throughout the automotive group,” Harbottle said. “We do that with our dealerships in Victoria, but Saunders have always been big supporters in the western communities and that’s where we will continue to focus our efforts.”

On the automotive side of things, he said it’s tough to argue with the fact the dealership has come off three of its best years ever. But plans include expanding the pre-owned vehicle business and growing the service department to be able to provide faster turnaround times for customers.

“We’re going to convert two bays in the service department that are currently used for washing and detailing to technician services.”

More attention will also be paid to what Harbottle calls the “digital business,” that is, addressing the fact that many people do their initial research online.

An expanded finance department, helped by the “economies of scale” this large company enjoys, will see more people employed in Colwood, he added.

“It’s exciting for us because we’ve acquired a real solid business; good people, good reputation, long-term employees that are committed to the customer. So it’s easier to step into that situation and sort of provide the resources to build upon.

“We will, in time, continue to grow the business, whether it’s through satellite locations down the road in Victoria or who knows what. Our main business is in Colwood and the western communities, but there’s lots of room for growth.”

 

Just Posted

Royal Bay students tackle climate change solutions

Students welcomes the public, presents 95 projects dealing with climate change

Full buses leave Colwood woman fuming over commute from West Shore

BC Transit plans to add eight double-deckers in 2020, will rotate on 50 and 61 routes

Semi truck impounded after driver avoids weight scales in Saanich

Driver issued 90-day roadside driving prohibition

VIDEO: Boys help rescue Cariboo bear cub

The cub, weighing just 24lbs, has been taken to wildlife sanctuary in Northwest B.C. for the winter

Greater Victoria 2019 holiday craft fair roundup

Get a jump on your holiday shopping

‘Things haven’t changed enough:’ Ecole Polytechnique anniversary prompts reflection

Fourteen women were fatally shot by a gunman at the Montreal school on Dec. 6, 1989

Bear raids freezer, gorges on Island family’s Christmas baking

Hungry bruin virtually ignored meat and fish, focused, instead, on the sweets

Second warning on romaine lettuce from California region as another E. coli case reported

Two cases of E. coli have been reported in relation to the illness in the U.S.

Residents in B.C. city could face 133% tax hike in ‘worst case’ lawsuit outcome: report

An average home could see a tax increase of $2,164 in one year

POLL: Will you be donating to charities over the holiday season?

Many here in Victoria joined others around the world to take part… Continue reading

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers wanted list for the week of Dec. 3

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

Most Read