Mini of Valencia, a Mini Cooper dealership located in the Valencia Auto Center, closed its doors Friday, leaving customers and staff unclear of their future.
Don Fleming, president of the Santa Clarita Valley Auto Dealers Association, confirmed Friday that the dealership had been closed; however, he was uncertain whether it was a permanent situation.
“They let us keep the parts and service open for a while, but no sales,” said Fleming when asked how COVID-19 has impacted the auto dealers in Santa Clarita. “It’s just devastating to the car business.”
One customer The Signal spoke with, who asked to remain anonymous, said he discovered that Mini of Valencia had been closed when he had taken his car in Friday morning for service.
The customer said that a staff member at Mini Cooper called him soon after he dropped off his car and informed him he would need to come back and pick it up because they had just been closed down.
“What do you mean, no notice or anything?’” he remembered asking the sales representative. “She said, ‘No, we are closing today and that’s why I need you to come get your car.’”
The customer, who works from home in the Santa Clarita Valley, said he had taken the lease out on his Mini Cooper — a lease with one year left on it — locally so that he could have it serviced locally.
He was told over the phone on Saturday that he would now need to take his vehicle to either Camarillo or North Hollywood for service.
“I’m not going to travel to someplace else outside of the city, especially you know in most cases they shuttle you home while they keep your car,” said the customer. “I’m not going to be able to do that if I go to Camarillo or (North Hollywood).”
Employees at Mini of Valencia deferred comment to AutoNation, the owners of the dealership. AutoNation officials were unavailable to comment as of the publication of this article.