Rob Roseta, 52, managing partner of Sunset Imports of Beaverton, Ore., would rather not have spent "multimillions'' and four years revamping his dealership for Audi and building a new structure 50 yards away for Porsche, both to meet manufacturer specifications.
"As an investment in the brand for the future, this clearly made business sense,'' Roseta says. "But as an entrepreneur, would you really prefer not to make that kind of investment? Of course.''
It didn't make things easier that he and his managing partner, Knute Qvale, had already starting planning changes for the dealership that sold Audis and Porsches in one showroom.
"It has been a long process,'' Roseta says. "Back in 1997 and 1998 we knew we had to make some upgrades.''
He says the building, designed in the 1980s for Porsche and Audi when they were twin franchises, had to make room for new products and an expected sales increase.
Then, Audi introduced its new international brand image, which included uniform showrooms. Because the building was already in place, Roseta says, Audi helped incorporate some of those elements into the existing structure.
But giving Audi the building meant finding a home for the Porsche line.
"We decided to build a small showroom for Porsche and a small shop.''
The factory had other plans.
"There is no question. When you build anything, you have to make the city happy and make the (franchiser) happy," Roseta says.