Forty-nine years ago, in the legendary pits of Riverside Raceway, a mechanic, known for his perfection, dreamed of one day owning his own automobile dealership - right here in Riverside. He dreamed of a dealership that would sell and service one of the finest luxury automobiles in America. Nothing less than Mercedes-Benz. Well, that perfectionist was Walter Kienle who realized his dream right here in Riverside, where the cost of doing business is much less so Walter's can offer you a great price and even better value.
Incessantly driven to succeed, Walter Kienle catches his breath after an exhilarating ride in the 617hp, 207.5 mph Mercedes-Benz SLR McLaren
Born in Germany to Swiss parents, Walter Kienle trained as a tool and die maker until he immigrated to the U.S. from Switzerland in 1948. Here, he worked as an automotive mechanic in Redding, PA until he felt compelled to join the U.S. Army to serve his new country.
Stationed at Fort Irwin in Barstow, Walter quickly earned his stripes as the top student in tank school and was quickly promoted to Staff Sergeant. As a non-commissioned officer (NCO) he earned privileges at the March Air Force Base NCO Club in Riverside, CA where he was first introduced to the mild weather and friendly charm of Southern California.
Upon his Sergeant First Class discharge, Walter moved back to New York where he opened an automotive garage, married and started his family. Longing for that California sunshine, he returned to Riverside in 1960 and opened Walter's Automotive Service with an emphasis on European makes.
Although Walter Kienle has always demanded his people work to the highest standards, he treated them well and earned their respect and loyalty. Many have built long careers at Walter's with several forty-plus year veterans still working at the dealership today.
Based on his excellent reputation for service and technical skill, Mr. Kienle opened Walter's Automotive Mercedes-Benz Service Center in 1964 and became an authorized selling dealer in 1965. Selling ten new Mercedes-Benz models in its first month of business, Walter's was immediately off to a great start. As word spread and the popularity of Mercedes-Benz grew, Walter's grew right along with it.
With the only Dynamometer in Riverside, Walter's dyno-tuning skills became the secret weapon of sophisticated racers from Riverside International Raceway (RIR) such as Dan Gurney, a world renowned racer in the 1960s.
With its trained technicians and reputation for excellent service, Porsche asked Walter's to become an authorized dealer in 1992 where it now enjoys the status of being one of the top Porsche dealers in the U.S. In 2004 the Audi line was added as a natural extension of Walter's fine line of German automobiles. Over the past 40 years, Walter's has expanded eleven times to become the multi-location auto group it is today.
Walter's son, Steve Kienle joined the family business in 1979 and now serves as General Manager for all three dealerships. Steve and his wife Cathy proudly reside in the Inland Empire and have greatly expanded Walter's Automotive contributions to the community. The annual Walter's Children Charity Golf Tournament is a tremendous success and has contributed nearly $2.6 million dollars to the Loma Linda University Children's Hospital.
Far from the modest service shop originally opened in the mid-sixties, Walter's Automotive located in Riverside has earned top Mercedes-Benz USA honors such as the Kundendienst Award for excellent customer service among others.
Come visit Walter's Automotive located in Riverside where we pride ourselves on upholding Walter's commitment and dedication to excellent customer service.