Peninsula adds Suzuki to its menu

John Dionas has never been one to sit back and wait. So when the opportunity to bring in a new line of automobiles came to him, he jumped on it, opening the second Suzuki dealership in Kitsap County.

Dionas, president and owner of Peninsula Subaru on State Route 16 in Gorst, opted to bring in something new rather than expand his line of used vehicles. And he is going full force with the new addition.

Dionas has been at the helm of Peninsula Subaru for almost four years and acquired the Suzuki line three months ago. His team is now in the process of building a Suzuki Square Facility, which is a state-of-the-art Suzuki showroom and sales office.

A separate parts and service department will follow soon, making the Suzuki dealership its own entity.

“We were going to do a truck center,” Dionas said. “And then opportunity came and we figured that we’re car guys, so we wanted to take advantage of it. And it’s been good for us.”

What Dionas likes most about the situation is that he can not only offer two different types of automobiles to his customers, he can offer them to a wider range of clientele, since the Subarus tend to be a higher-end model while Suzuki offers a more affordable line.

“It’s a great product and a great warranty,” Dionas said. “They’re very reasonable on their prices and they have a variety of entry-level vehicles as well as seven-passenger (vehicles).”

Dionas added that the company, which has been better known for its motorcycles over the years, is planning a big push in the coming year in the car industry. That means more models to choose from with most staying in the entry-level price range.

While Dionas’s team gets familiar with its new brand, he said they will bring the same philosophy to Suzuki that they’ve been known for with Subaru. In the last three and half years, his team has increased its business by almost 50 percent, and he expects that kind of result with the new line.

“Our goal is to provide the same customer service we always have,” Dionas said.

In time, the Suzuki dealership will be a stand-alone one, and Dionas has brought in a few extra employees to get things going. He expects to hire a few more once the service center is completed.

That center will house four working bays, run by Suzuki-certified mechanics, along with a fully stocked parts department, and is expected to be fully functional by the first of the year. Which should bring in even more business, Dionas said.

As for the first three months, Dionas said he was pleased with the response to the new line.

His dealership sold more than 10 units a month during the main construction phase of the new building and while that did drop just a bit, it’s on its way back up.

“Our projection is 20-plus units a month,” Dionas said. “That our goal, 20-plus units a month since we’re at 50-plus Subaru’s a month.”

Dionas said he will be getting a broader range of models coming in during the next few months, from entry-level compacts to sedans and sports utility vehicles. He also calls the line the best-kept secret in the car market.

“It’s a ton of car for the money,” Dionas said. “And it’s a Japanese product. It’s very dependable. And they give America’s best warranty.”

The dealership expects to hold an official grand opening in March once all the construction is completed but is already offering grand-opening deals to all of its customers. 

And for now, Dionas said he will stay with his two-company lineup along with his line of used cars but might expand again someday.

“In the future, if the opportunity arises, we will continue to make some future investments,” Dionas said. “But we’re here to stay. We’re not going anywhere.”

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