By Kathy Day
In the year since Mossy opened BMW of Vista, the dealership has become the fastest growing one west of the Rockies in terms of volume, according to general manager Brian Kennedy. He attributes that growth of more than 350 percent to demand for the luxury cars, as well as because buyers are searching for what he called “the premium alternative” in customer service.
“We are selling a driving and lifestyle experience,” he said. One prospective customer who had always dreamed of owning a BMW came in for a test drive and came out laughing. “He had so much fun. It rose to the childhood level of excitement,” Kennedy said.
He also said he has had customers who have owned BMWs through the years who come in to drive new models and tell him “they can’t understand how the new car can knock their socks off again.”
Kennedy talked about the new 300 series Bimmers – an affectionate term for the autos, while Beemer is accepted slang for BMW motorcycles. The newest edition gets more than 30 miles per gallon and has better handling, and Kennedy said, “you can lease one in the $300 range and that includes maintenance.” Kennedy, who ran Mossy Automotive Group’s Toyota dealership in Pacific Beach for seven years, said they carry Mossy’s “Discover the Mossy Difference” motto to a new level.
“We go out of our way to create a customer-first environment,” he said, noting that they aim to get customers coming in for service out in five minutes – with a service loan car — if they have an appointment. But if someone wants to stick around and talk with their service adviser, they welcome that too, he said. With more than 50 employees, the dealership is keen on “hiring good people before good salespeople,” he added. “We want sales people that enjoy driving and can relate that to our customers.”
While they are waiting, customers can enjoy fresh-baked cookies and French-roasted coffee. They also offer car washes to BMW owners six days a week — whether they purchased their car at the Mossy dealership or not, Kennedy said. On top of that, they host “a lot of fun times for repeat customers,” such as drawings for prizes such as a visit to a BMW driving school and happy hour with a local brewery. They also have a visible role in the community, supporting such causes as the Moonlight Cultural Foundation and the Semper Fi Fund.
Located adjacent to Highway 78 on Hacienda Drive in a converted Circuit City store, Mossy BMW of Vista has hundreds of new and pre-owned cars in inventory. It is one of seven dealerships in the Mossy San Diego family. The business began in 1921 in New Orleans and came to San Diego in 1982. Kennedy, a Vista High and UCLA graduate, who lives in Carlsbad and has children at Horizon Prep, urged anyone interested in BMWs “whether they are going to buy today, tomorrow or never” to stop by and say hi. “It’s definitely worthwhile to make a trip.”
BMW of Vista: 1715 Hacienda Drive, Vista, CA 92081; (877) 611 3269; www.bmwofvista.com/Mossy_Difference.html
Service hours: 7:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday-Saturday
Showroom hours: 8:30 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday-Saturday; 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday