On the move in Longmont
Longmont, Colo.—A longtime family-owned dealership group in northern Colorado has added another store to its quiver of manufacturers. Valley Mitsubishi, in Longmont, opened its doors four months ago adjacent to sister store Valley Nissan, where its parts and service department will be helmed by millennial Erin Rummel, overseeing collision and mechanical wholesale.
“We’ve been getting the word out about our Mitsubishi wholesale department with flyers and mailers, but I also have many customers from Nissan who know me very well,” said Rummel, adding that there isn’t another Mitsubishi dealership within proximity since a Fort Collins location closed weeks before Valley Mitsubishi opened. “We’re now the only one in Northern Colorado and Wyoming.”
The dealership group now has a total of six stores: two in Greeley (Greeley Volkswagen, Greeley Nissan), one in Loveland (Loveland Ford) and three in Longmont (Valley Nissan, Valley Mitsubishi, Valley Subaru).
Rummel, 27, started in the industry when she was 18 at a Mazda dealership in the service department, before arriving at Valley Nissan and joining the parts department for five years.
The lion’s share of her training has been on the job and online through the automaker, busy getting acquainted with Mitsubishi. “It has its similarities, but there are challenges learning a new manufacturer, its system and common pattern failures — Mechatronic assemblies, for example, on Evo models have high solenoid failures, which requires replacing the valve body because the solenoids can’t be separated — but I enjoy the learning experience and getting up to speed.”
The wholesale department has two trucks that deliver up to Estes Park and down through Fort Collins, Longmont and the surrounding region. The service department features five bays with two techs, Travis Leitner and Dante Cartwright.
Leitner, formaerly a Nissan tech, has been receiving continuous training, most recently making trips to Mitsubishi’s training center in New Jersey. Both techs are also aggressive in obtaining regular online training.
Rummel had always been interested in cars from an early age of 6, when her mother drove a purple 1968 Chevy Nova, which sparked her interest in cars and led her to eventually seek a career in the industry.
As a young woman in a male-dominated industry, Rummel said she initially had a few hurdles to overcome when she entered the aftermarket straight from high school.
“There were trust issues — a few people thinking I didn’t know what I was doing — but that’s now in the past.”