View Full Version : Jon Shafer returns! Starts working at BMW Santa Barbara (July 5, 2011)

07-05-2011, 08:17 AM
For those of you who do not know, my pal, Jon Shafer (founder of Bimmerfest), has returned back to the BMW dealer scene.

Jon, after 17 years in the business, left the BMW dealer biz in 2003 (to pursue a master's degree). He spent the next 7 years working in his new career -- as a marriage and family therapist. His departure in 2003 was our loss.

Jon, as the general sales manager of Cutter Motors (now called BMW Santa Barbara), pioneered the "Internet Special" back in the day. He was a trendsetter. While other dealers were busy gouging the crap out of customers (during one of the great technology bull runs in the stock market), Jon figured out that his dealership could still make money by offering BMWs at small margins (to the dealer) while providing exceptional customer service. Ultimately, a deal would be made and the customer would take delivery at the dealership. It was an event, too. Ask ZHPMafia.com member, Jeff (jvr826), about it. Maybe he'll chime in and give us an anecdote or two about it.

Anyhow, I'm pleased that Jon -- who never quite shook the BMW bug, even after he became a marriage therapist -- has decided to return back to his roots. The guy is the best sales guy I've ever met in the BMW business. What's more, he's a loyal guy who doesn't forget a name.

I make it a point to go to Bimmerfest every year -- just so that I can shake Jon's hand. He's one of the really good guys in the business.

In Jon's new role, he will serve as the Internet Sales Manager for BMW Santa Barbara (http://www.bmwsantabarbara.com/). It's a perfect fit.

If you're in the market for a new BMW, I recommend that you give Jon a call at BMW Santa Barbara. And this note: you don't have to live in the Santa Barbara area to strike a deal with Jon. He can make a deal regardless of your locale.

Welcome back to the business, Jon!

C Withers Media
07-05-2011, 08:42 AM
Well said Mark.

07-05-2011, 10:01 AM
Good to know Mark. That's a solid review.

Will definately put BMW Santa Barbara in my list of places to check when I'm shopping for my next BMW.

Congratulations Jon!

07-05-2011, 11:13 AM
Good idea, Bill. No one better than Jon. Tons of people can vouch for him. Other dealers better step up their game with Jon back.

07-06-2011, 08:32 AM
Moved thread to dealership reviews forum.

07-11-2011, 07:27 PM
Wow! Go away for a couple weekends and look what happens!

I too have known Jon for about 12 years now. In 1999 we met at then bimmer.org when he was starting his "internet pricing" at Cutter Motors. I had been shopping local dealerships in the SF Bay Area for an E39 and was getting the same old high pressure sales BS that makes us all hate car shopping. I gave Jon a call in Santa Barbara and within 10 minutes I had a 528i ordered with exactly the options I wanted and shortly after that a faxed confirmation with the price in writing.

Jon kept me updated thru the build and ship process. About 5 weeks later I got the call "your car is here!" A couple days later I flew down to Santa Barbara to meet Jon and take delivery of my car. He made me feel like royalty and I even met Mr Cutter, the owner of the family business while I was there. Jon would do the legwork and make the no-stress deal, then give one of his sales staff the sale to handle delivery and all that goes with that. Bruce Aches was my guy and he did a great job. After wrapping it all up and saying our thanks and good byes, I enjoyed a wonderful road trip home up the CA coast.

I did exactly the same thing in 2002 and took delivery of a new 530i the day before Bimmerfest that year. How special is that? And in 2005, tho Jon no longer worked at the dealership, he took time out of his personal schedule to meet me at now Santa Barbara BMW and hang out with Bruce and myself as I took delivery of my third car from him.


We enjoyed a nice lunch in town and I was on my way up HWY 1 to break in the new ZHP. It still wears the Bimmerfest.com stickers Jon installed on the rear side windows that day...


I sent a friend there some years ago who was car shopping and he said something I'll never forget... It was the first time he ever went to a car dealer that he didn't feel like he needed to shower in clorox after he left.

With Jon back in the game, you can guarantee that dealership will excel at customer service!

Welcome back Jon!!!

07-11-2011, 07:30 PM
Jeff, exactly. We all feel the same way about Jon. It's a total win for everyone.

Oh, and before I forget: I met Jeff in person back in 2002 -- at Bimmerfest. Good dude.