DETROIT -- Subaru has seven nameplates in its 2015 lineup. But only two vehicles fit inside the cramped showroom at Hodges Subaru in Ferndale, Mich., outside Detroit.
That will change late this summer when Hodges moves one mile down the road -- Detroit's famed Woodward Avenue -- into a renovated building, the former Ferndale Mazda, which closed last year.
But when the move is completed in August, Hodges will take with it the many lessons learned during the years confined in a small space.
For instance, Hodges will continue to train workers to perform the duties of more than one job, to boost efficiency and teamwork.
The story of Hodges Subaru -- still legally known as Hodges Imports -- is a window on Subaru's humble beginning in the United States. Subaru's U.S. operations were founded by Malcolm Bricklin and Harvey Lamm in 1968. The pair imported scooters and the tiny Subaru 360 car.
To get the business rolling, Bricklin and Lamm signed up unlikely dealerships -- filling stations, garages, even used-car lots. Many of the brand's original stores were in gas station-sized buildings such as Hodges.