We started in 1990, as Wholesalers. Disillusioned with the confrontational sales process in dealerships we had worked in during the 1980s, we started a business where we would purchase traded-in vehicles from new car dealerships and re-sell them to other new car dealers. Business was brisk, and soon we needed a place to get these cars ready! A big old barn-like building was located in Highland Park, and we named it...The Autobarn... and went to work. But, something strange happened... people started to come in and asked if they could buy the cars before they got wholesaled! We realized that the non-confrontational way that we were presenting our cars was what some people wanted, and the Autobarn Sales Process was born! Soon we were retailing more cars than we were wholesaling, and customers were having fun in our showroom – shooting baskets, racing slot cars, drinking strong coffee and buying old BMW's!!!
On July 1, 1992, we opened The Autobarn of Evanston and became new car dealers with our first Volkswagen store. Using the same non-confrontational processes, we immediately became the largest volume VW dealership in Chicagoland. Throughout this time, we continued to specialize in the interesting pre-driven European imports for which we had become known. After trying for some years, we added the Mazda brand to our Evanston line-up, with Nissan joining in 2005. As of Fall, 2007, all of our Evanston dealerships will be housed in new facilities, forming a beautiful campus-like setting. Our VW dealership in Evanston was the Nation's largest Certified Pre-Owned Volkswagen Dealership in 2005 and 2006, while the Autobarn Mazda dealership in Evanston was Illinois' #1 Volume Store in 2006.
The Autobarn Volkswagen of Mt. Prospect opened in July of 1998 and was converted to become Chicagoland's largest Volkswagen Marketplace during 2002. The Autobarn of Mt. Prospect dealership was Illinois' #1 selling new VW Store in 2005 and 2006 - our non-confrontational sales approach and focus on service and really satisfying customers worked well in the Western Suburbs too, and we continued to grow.
The Autobarn Volkswagen of Countryside/LaGrange opened in March of 2000. Volkswagen Marketplace construction was completed in 2003 and customers in the Southwest Suburbs now have a beautiful Autobarn store in which to do business, with the Service Department about to be expanded again to accommodate increased service volume!
The Autobarn Mazda of Countryside opened in 2001 and has been operating at 5700 S. LaGrange Road in Countryside - UNTIL NOW!! In late Fall of 2007, the Autobarn Mazda Countryside store will move into a beautiful new 23,000 square foot "Retail Revolution Facility" on 3.5 acre directly across LaGrange Road from our current location. Part of our enduring attraction to Mazda and their products has been Mazda's ongoing commitment to Motorsports and cars that HANDLE!! To that end, we are now involved in Mazda Motorsports, road-racing a spec Miata and sponsoring an MX-5 in the Mazda Pro Series!!
Ask any of our Associates about our commitment to the brands that we sell and service - you'll find that we are committed as enthusiasts as well as being your best resource for Volkswagen, Nissan or Mazda products - or the 600 pre-owned imports that we usually stock.