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Auto Dealer 'Isn't Going Anywhere'

September 08, 1985

In your article reporting the Santa Monica Planning Commission's denial of the proposed Kramer Motors Honda dealership, it was refreshing not to read another quote by Robert Kramer that because the project wasn't approved, he might have to pull his dealerships out of Santa Monica.

Mr. Kramer and the other auto dealers have been making this same empty threat since last year when the land use element was revised and, despite unanimous opposition from virtually every neighborhood group in the city, they lobbied successfully for the inclusion of a provision which permits auto dealerships to be taller and more highly massed than any other type of structure on Santa Monica Boulevard.

The truth is that Mr. Kramer will never move his Honda dealership (or his Mazda, Chevrolet, Volvo, Mitsubishi, or Mercury dealerships) out of Santa Monica. Here are some reasons why:

1--Mr. Kramer's existing Honda dealership is enormously successful. That's why he is trying to double its size. It's almost comical to hear Mr. Kramer suggest that he might close down an extremely profitable business. On the contrary, what he will do, and has already done, is to open another Honda dealership in a different city. Less than one year ago, he built a new Honda dealership in Valencia. Not only isn't Mr. Kramer going to relocate any of his Santa Monica dealerships, he is relying on his income from those dealerships to fund the construction of new dealerships in other areas.

2--Mr. Kramer pays much lower city business taxes in Santa Monica than would be required in any other city in the area.

3--The dealership is located in the heart of Santa Monica's "auto row," which attracts more car buyers than any assemblage of auto dealerships in the Los Angeles area because of its proximity to the ocean, its mild temperatures and wide variety of automobiles available.

4--Mr. Kramer is not going to throw away the reputation and good will he has established over the last 34 years.

Mr. Kramer bluffed the City Council last year during the revision of the land-use element and is undoubtedly going to try the same tactic on Sept. 10, when he appeals the denial of his project to the City Council. Hopefully, the City Council will realize that regardless of its decision, Mr. Kramer isn't going anywhere.

JACK RUBENS

Santa Monicans

for Reasonable Growth

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