Carrie Rengers

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Subaru of Wichita gets worldwide attention for response to union sign

03/19/2014 3:54 PM

06/25/2014 5:53 PM

WICHITA — Subaru of Wichita is getting the proverbial kind of advertising that money can't buy since it retaliated against the "Shame on Subaru" sign the United Brotherhood Of Carpenters And Joiners Of America Local 201 planted in front of the dealership last week.

"It's been a wild ride," says Aaron Wirtz, who handles marketing and media for Subaru.

As Have You Heard? reported last week, the union is upset with Subaru for not hiring a union contractor for part of a remodeling job. Subaru responded with its own sign that plays off the "Shame" by saying, "For having unbeatable prices." It also took to the Internet to share its side of the situation.

Since the story has been picked up by other news outlets, Wirtz says the dealership on East Kellogg has been inundated with attention from around the world. That included an interview that Fox News did with Wirtz on Wednesday morning.

"Can you believe that?" he says.

Wirtz says while the attention has been great, it's not necessarily going to translate into selling a lot more cars. He points to an e-mail from someone in New Zealand.

"In the case of New Zealand, we're probably not going to ship a new Subaru there," he says. "However, I do feel like this has worked out about as good as it could have."

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About Carrie Rengers

Carrie Rengers joined The Eagle's Business team in 2002 despite her inability to even balance a checkbook. Fortunately for her, and readers, her Have You Heard? blog is about business scoops and contains lots of news but almost no math.

A Michigan native, Carrie’s father was quite tragically transferred to Little Rock, Ark., in the middle of her sophomore year of high school. To make matters worse, her parents put her in a girls school. She recovered, though, and went on to enjoy being an English major at Hendrix College (the Harvard of the Ozarks, don’t you know). She worked for the weekly Arkansas Business and the statewide daily Arkansas Democrat-Gazette before moving to Wichita to be with her favorite writer and cook, husband Joe Stumpe.

Carrie encourages readers to contact her with tips, questions, behind-the-scenes business news and even funny quotes from business people. Reach her at 316-268-6340 or crengers@wichitaeagle.com

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