Corwin Auto Group takes reins of Eisinger dealerships

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Corwin Honda, formerly Eisinger Honda, located at the corner of Reserve and Highway 93 in Kalispell on Wednesday. (Casey Kreider/Daily Inter Lake)

The Kalispell Chevrolet and Honda dealerships previously known as Eisinger Motors and Eisinger Honda are now under the names Corwin Motors and Corwin Honda of Kalispell.

The Fargo, North Dakota-based Corwin Auto Group that now runs the dealerships had been a partner with the Eisingers since the dealerships opened in the 1990s.

General Manager Chris Rembaugh said the name change officially went into effect Sept. 1. A press release on Wednesday announced, “the Corwin family will now run the dealerships under the Corwin names and brand.”

The main reason for the change was the retirement of longtime Eisinger figurehead Greg Eisinger in March, 2017, according to Rembaugh. Eisinger and Tim Corwin bought and opened Eisinger Motors in 1994 and ran the dealership for 23 years. He added Eisinger Honda in 2005.

Greg’s son Ben took over the helm in 2017, but Rembaugh reported the Eisingers are no longer involved in the dealerships.

As for the delay between Eisinger’s 2017 retirement and the recent name change, Rembaugh said “it’s just taken a little bit of time. There wasn’t really a huge hurry.”

He explained Corwin operates 11 dealerships in six states, but the Kalispell locations were the only ones without the Corwin masthead until September. He pointed out locals might not realize “Corwin has been in the community since 1994, just operating under a different name.”

He also felt local car shoppers might not be aware Corwin Motors is the “only full-line General Motors dealer in Montana, meaning we carry all GM brands,” or that Corwin Auto Group has been a family-owned and operated dealer for more than 100 years.

Moving forward under the new name, Rembaugh said, “Our intention is to enhance what has already happened here.” That means adding “more volume,” becoming “more competitive” and “enhancing our customer service.”

“There’s always an opportunity for that,” he said.

He also said “these dealerships have done a lot in the community” when it comes to supporting local charities. “We’re looking to enhance that as well,” he said.

Rembaugh came on as general manager of the Chevrolet dealership in April after working in the automotive industry for 17 years, mostly in the greater Seattle area. “Other than me,” he said, there will be no personnel changes as the Corwin family steps in. He said the two dealerships have roughly 105 employees between them, and under Corwin these will be “literally all the same personnel” as before.

They have been gradually introducing the change to customers throughout the summer, Rembaugh reported. “They’re surprised at first, but although it’s different, it’s very much the same in a lot of ways,” he insisted.

“Greg Eisinger has developed outstanding dealerships and exceptional customer service, and we look forward to continuing to build upon that foundation,” Rembaugh said in the press release.

He also told the Inter Lake, “Although things have been good in the past, we hope to make it even better” and “capture some of the business we might have lost over the years for one reason or another.”

Reporter Bret Anne Serbin may be reached at bserbin@dailyinterlake.com or 758-4459.

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