Quitting subarus due to the dealers - Subaru Outback - Subaru Outback Forums
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post #1 of 89 (permalink) Old 04-11-2019, 10:20 AM Thread Starter
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Quitting subarus due to the dealers

A long read”
After six Subaru’s I finally had to move on but it’s not the brand it was the dealer.



Our first car was a 1988 GL Wagon and we hauled our family around and took it on vacations and drove it on 4X4 roads it should never have been on but it never failed us. When our family grew we moved into our minivan stage and sold our wagon but returned to the brand when the kids left home and we sold the minivan. During that time my Aunt moved back from California and since she lived in the county I got her started on Subaru’s and she traded every 18 months and bought 4 foresters, an Outback and ended up with a Crosstrek. Between myself, my Aunt and my mother we bought approx 12 vehicles from Figgs Subaru in Topeka,Ks. All of us loved the brand and we liked calling ourselves Subaru people and my wife and I referred to ourselves as a Subaru family when talking cars. We have had two brands Subaru and Toyota in our family and while we loved our Toyota minivan and my Toyota pick up we never had the ownership feel that we did with our Subaru’s.



One of the reasons we kept going back to Subaru’s was our dealer. Figgs Subaru was a smaller family owned dealership and we never had a problem with them. In the early 60’s Figgs took a gamble on if you remember “Those little jap cars” and turned it into a very successful dealership. They didn’t operate on cut throat methods and you could walk in and buy a car and walk out in an hours time happy and feeling good about the deal. I used to do research on the cars bottom dollar and go in to buy a car ready for a fight but it wasn’t that way with Figg’s Subaru.



A few years ago they sold the dealership and another local Mega multi brand dealership (Briggs) bought it and in my opinion it is the worst dealership I have ever dealt with. They kept our same salesman that we have dealt with for many years but other employees that they kept on were slowly let go.


Mike the service manager was let go because he didn’t GENERATE enough work or money. In the past you knew that if you took your car in that they would fix problems and I never once felt like they took me for anything that wasn’t needed. Mike told us when he left that they always pressured him to bring in more and more money and when he didn’t they let him go and since that time they have had multiple service managers. Since I was getting older and we were trading vehicle more often I had been in the habit of letting Figgs do my oil changes but I had to start doing my oil changes again just for my own peace of mind. When you take a brand new vehicle in for the first oil change and they want to inspect it for possible work and they tell you that you need new windshield wipers on a two month old car then something is very wrong. I have very little faith in taking my vehicle there and for the first time at a major dealership I worried that they would break something to sell me a new part.
If you call Briggs Subaru the call goes to another dealership and they will not transfer the call until you tell them your name. If you do not give them your name the call always goes to voice mail so you have to leave your name and number for them to call you back. One of the sales managers who wasn’t there long told me that they data mine names and numbers and it helps to generate a call list for sales. He said that there is also a process for mailings due to the number of times you called and which dept. you called.



Since Briggs took over I have been spammed with E mails form distant dealerships that are in the Briggs group who email you to bring in your trade for a great deal. I received one of these e mails after recently buying a new car. I asked my salesman and even the new sales manager to remove my emails from the system but that is impossible to do.



Our original salesman has stayed but that is only because he has such a strong customer base that they cant let him go but I have rarely seen a salesman stay for more than a few months and this goes for parts people and all other employees there.
I know some will say that this is the way of the world and that’s just how big dealerships are. BUT, the Toyota dealership I buy my trucks from was also a small family dealership who took a chance on Toyota’s in the 60’s just like Figg’s and Lewis Toyota is now a multi dealership dealer and their business practices are nothing like Briggs. I have no problem and feel very comfortable taking a vehicle in for service and while I have to know my numbers when I buy a new vehicle I feel comfortable buying from Lewis.



I do have to say that the recent decline in Subaru quality has had some impact on my opinion but it has been mostly the dealership. Sine 2013 I have bought three windshields for our Legacy’s and right before I sold the Outback it had a broken windshield. I also had a wheel bearing go out on our 2017 Outback. The windshield is a definite problem but a wheel bearing can just be the luck of the draw and I figured it was just one of those things that can happen. BUT, when I took the car in to Briggs to have the service done I did not feel confident that the work would be done right or that they wouldn’t try to find something else on an 18 month old car that needed fixed. The NEW service manager was very nice and very efficient young lady and I really liked her until she told me that the service tech said that I needed new tires.



All of this added up and my wife drove a friend’s 2017 Toyota Highlander and we stopped in one day and drove one and bought a 2019 Highlander and we love it. I do miss my Subaru’s but as long as Briggs owns the dealership I wont be back and at my age I doubt if we will ever be back or change brands. I do regret not taking my “6” emblem off of the back of the Outback and I do feel a little regret every time I see an Outback.

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post #2 of 89 (permalink) Old 04-11-2019, 10:46 AM
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I switched to Subaru for the same reason you left. The Honda dealer in this area is so bad that I was determined never to buy another car from them. But I wanted a dealer that was close to home so I decided to try Subaru, the Dealer is only about a mile from my house. So far so good. If things don't work out with them there is a Toyota dealer just down the street. I have very little brand name loyalty.

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post #3 of 89 (permalink) Old 04-11-2019, 11:32 AM
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I had a similar experience with Volvo. There was a dealer very close to my home. Always great, fair, service. One day it all changed. Now I'm driving a Subaru!
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post #4 of 89 (permalink) Old 04-11-2019, 11:35 AM
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Hmmm, and THEY wonder why 'dealerships' get such a bad rap and are referred to as, 'stealerships'.


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post #5 of 89 (permalink) Old 04-11-2019, 02:25 PM
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This sounds pretty close to how I feel about the local Toyota dealership and was pretty much the reason I bought my Ford Escape in 2010. I was all set to buy a Rav 4 to replace my Toyota Matrix which turned out to just be too small for my needs. In trying to work out a deal for the Rav 4 I just got so sick of the antics and them completely ignoring everything I told them I wanted I finally just walked away and found what I wanted up the street at the Ford (and also Subaru) dealership.

When it came time to replace the Escape I bought my Outback from the same dealership. I won't pretend they are perfect, but they have treated me right and so far haven't done anything to run me off. They are currently in the process of separating the Ford and Subaru franchises and are building a new facility next door that Subaru will move to when it is finished. They will then have a completely separate service and parts department for Subaru as well. It will be interesting to see what might change when that happens.
The next closest Subaru dealer is over three hours away so I would prefer to buy locally as long as they keep treating me fairly. I don't mind that I won't get the best price on a car here but at the same time if the savings was large enough I would jump ship and buy outside of the area.


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post #6 of 89 (permalink) Old 04-11-2019, 05:21 PM
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Oddly enough - I've sworn off ever doing business with the "small" Subaru dealer in my area. I had a bad service experience with them. The dealer I bought from is part of a larger dealer network (but not a HUGE one, they have lots for GM, MOPAR, Mitsubishi and Subaru) but I feel they're reputable. Yes, I get those same emails trying to get me into a new Subaru but ONLY from the Subaru dealer in the group.

I wonder, for the OP, was there another dealer to try or was this an excuse to find a different brand? Maybe Subaru dealers aren't as common in Kansas as they are in New York...


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post #7 of 89 (permalink) Old 04-11-2019, 06:07 PM
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It sounds like you might be retired or soon to retire, maybe you just need to move to a new location?

I have at least 7 Subaru dealerships within 50 miles of where I live in the Portland, OR area. They all have to be good to the customers or they won't survive.

Dan

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post #8 of 89 (permalink) Old 04-11-2019, 06:25 PM
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Good luck with the new vehicle & dealership keep us updated on the Highlander.
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post #9 of 89 (permalink) Old 04-11-2019, 06:28 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jstchilln View Post
A long read”
After six Subaru’s I finally had to move on but it’s not the brand it was the dealer.



Our first car was a 1988 GL Wagon and we hauled our family around and took it on vacations and drove it on 4X4 roads it should never have been on but it never failed us. When our family grew we moved into our minivan stage and sold our wagon but returned to the brand when the kids left home and we sold the minivan. During that time my Aunt moved back from California and since she lived in the county I got her started on Subaru’s and she traded every 18 months and bought 4 foresters, an Outback and ended up with a Crosstrek. Between myself, my Aunt and my mother we bought approx 12 vehicles from Figgs Subaru in Topeka,Ks. All of us loved the brand and we liked calling ourselves Subaru people and my wife and I referred to ourselves as a Subaru family when talking cars. We have had two brands Subaru and Toyota in our family and while we loved our Toyota minivan and my Toyota pick up we never had the ownership feel that we did with our Subaru’s.



One of the reasons we kept going back to Subaru’s was our dealer. Figgs Subaru was a smaller family owned dealership and we never had a problem with them. In the early 60’s Figgs took a gamble on if you remember “Those little jap cars” and turned it into a very successful dealership. They didn’t operate on cut throat methods and you could walk in and buy a car and walk out in an hours time happy and feeling good about the deal. I used to do research on the cars bottom dollar and go in to buy a car ready for a fight but it wasn’t that way with Figg’s Subaru.



A few years ago they sold the dealership and another local Mega multi brand dealership (Briggs) bought it and in my opinion it is the worst dealership I have ever dealt with. They kept our same salesman that we have dealt with for many years but other employees that they kept on were slowly let go.


Mike the service manager was let go because he didn’t GENERATE enough work or money. In the past you knew that if you took your car in that they would fix problems and I never once felt like they took me for anything that wasn’t needed. Mike told us when he left that they always pressured him to bring in more and more money and when he didn’t they let him go and since that time they have had multiple service managers. Since I was getting older and we were trading vehicle more often I had been in the habit of letting Figgs do my oil changes but I had to start doing my oil changes again just for my own peace of mind. When you take a brand new vehicle in for the first oil change and they want to inspect it for possible work and they tell you that you need new windshield wipers on a two month old car then something is very wrong. I have very little faith in taking my vehicle there and for the first time at a major dealership I worried that they would break something to sell me a new part.
If you call Briggs Subaru the call goes to another dealership and they will not transfer the call until you tell them your name. If you do not give them your name the call always goes to voice mail so you have to leave your name and number for them to call you back. One of the sales managers who wasn’t there long told me that they data mine names and numbers and it helps to generate a call list for sales. He said that there is also a process for mailings due to the number of times you called and which dept. you called.



Since Briggs took over I have been spammed with E mails form distant dealerships that are in the Briggs group who email you to bring in your trade for a great deal. I received one of these e mails after recently buying a new car. I asked my salesman and even the new sales manager to remove my emails from the system but that is impossible to do.



Our original salesman has stayed but that is only because he has such a strong customer base that they cant let him go but I have rarely seen a salesman stay for more than a few months and this goes for parts people and all other employees there.
I know some will say that this is the way of the world and that’s just how big dealerships are. BUT, the Toyota dealership I buy my trucks from was also a small family dealership who took a chance on Toyota’s in the 60’s just like Figg’s and Lewis Toyota is now a multi dealership dealer and their business practices are nothing like Briggs. I have no problem and feel very comfortable taking a vehicle in for service and while I have to know my numbers when I buy a new vehicle I feel comfortable buying from Lewis.



I do have to say that the recent decline in Subaru quality has had some impact on my opinion but it has been mostly the dealership. Sine 2013 I have bought three windshields for our Legacy’s and right before I sold the Outback it had a broken windshield. I also had a wheel bearing go out on our 2017 Outback. The windshield is a definite problem but a wheel bearing can just be the luck of the draw and I figured it was just one of those things that can happen. BUT, when I took the car in to Briggs to have the service done I did not feel confident that the work would be done right or that they wouldn’t try to find something else on an 18 month old car that needed fixed. The NEW service manager was very nice and very efficient young lady and I really liked her until she told me that the service tech said that I needed new tires.



All of this added up and my wife drove a friend’s 2017 Toyota Highlander and we stopped in one day and drove one and bought a 2019 Highlander and we love it. I do miss my Subaru’s but as long as Briggs owns the dealership I wont be back and at my age I doubt if we will ever be back or change brands. I do regret not taking my “6” emblem off of the back of the Outback and I do feel a little regret every time I see an Outback.

Same thing in my area local dealer bought by a mega Auto Group. Whole thing went to absolute garbage. Pretty sure my 2010 is my last Subaru for the same reasons. All 5 dealers in my region are all big Auto group owned shops all of them operate the same way.
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post #10 of 89 (permalink) Old 04-11-2019, 08:35 PM Thread Starter
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It's NOT GOOD to see others that have had the same problem with other dealers but at least I know I'm not the lone ranger. I thought a long time before I wrote my letter to the group because I have been so loyal to the brand and I didn't want my dislike of the dealer to bleed over into the Subaru brand. Subaru's are great vehicles and I would still be driving one if I had a different dealer.


intelisevil The closest Subaru dealer is 25 miles away and it is owned by the same group so going to another dealer is not a good option. Even though we are in Kansas there are a lot of Subaru's in the area. It's not like Colorado or the Portland area but there are a lot of them around. BTW, I am three weeks into retirement and I am loving it. 8-10 hours of sleep instead of 2-4 every other day has been great.



Danver, I like what you had to say and you are right that no dealer is perfect butt his guy Briggs is flat out terrible. I did a lot of reflection on whether I was being to critical of the dealership because we were spoiled with our old dealer.



Thanks for all of the replies.

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