Since retiring as a remarketing manager at Kia Motors America this past January, David Alfonso has redoubled his efforts, given all his energy, and devoted his expertise to ensuring his days are filled with fun and adventure.
Last year he and his wife Rose purchased a villa on four acres in Southern California’s Temecula wine country and named it “Villa Vista.” They have devoted their time to settling in, and Alfonso has constructed an expanded garage area to house his personal fleet of motorcycles.
The collection of seven includes three Ducati motorcycles, including a fully restored 1966 Ducati Monza 250, a Ducati ST3 Sports Touring bike, and a recently purchased 2017 Ducati Café Racer. He also owns a Harley Davidson. Alfonso had a Lola T492 racecar and sold it after achieving a long-time goal of winning a race when he was 60. He won two.
“I’ve been busier now than I was when I was working,” said Alfonso, just prior to a long weekend trip with his wife. “I belong to four motorcycle groups, and we go on several rides a week.”
Alfonso’s love of bikes and motorsports has always been a passion, and he’s taken numerous long rides with friends throughout Italy and other regions of Europe and the U.S. during his lifetime.
“We were just in Italy and visited the Ducati factory and watched them build the bikes by hand,” he said. “We ride in Italy every year, and last year we began in Northern Italy and toured five countries through the Alps. This year, we are riding in Sicily for the second time.”
Prior to joining Kia in 1997, Alfonso was employed at Mazda Motors of America, where he set up the company’s first remarking program. He joined Kia to establish its Fleet Sales and Remarketing Department, where he remained until his retirement. In the latter part of his career at KIA, he left the original post to work in remarketing in the field as a prelude to retiring.
The “villa” has become his newest passion. He recently constructed a bocce ball court on the grounds, and has spent a good deal of effort working to complete the interior of the newly constructed garage.
“We look forward to entertaining at the house and the bocce ball court will be perfect for sharing fun and good food with friends,” Alfonso said.
The Alfonsos moved into the wine country, and while there are currently no grapes on the property, they have plans for planting a small vineyard and having wine made from their grapes.
In addition to the motorcycle groups he belongs to, he’s also a member of the Secret Car Club, a loosely organized group with all types of sports, classic and exotic cars that meets in Rancho Santa Fe, Calif., to display their cars on Saturdays in the town square.
“Even though it attracts attention, we try not to publicize it too much,” he said. “It’s just a group of car guys who want to get together and talk cars.”
Alfonso was instrumental in founding the International Automotive Remarketing Alliance (IARA), and remained a Charter Board Member until January of this year when he retired. Among his many contributions to the IARA were his eloquent introductions and short speeches during award ceremonies and presentations in his capacity as chairman of the IARA Awards and Recognition Committee. His tributes often elicited emotional responses from the award recipients, and were always memorable.
Alfonso served as the founding chairman of the Awards and Recognition Committee and served in that capacity until his retirement. Mary Haller, regional manager at America’s Auto Auction, and Paul Seger, vice president, Asset Remarketing for Element Financial Corp., now serve as co-chairs of the committee.
“I’m not involved officially with the auto industry now, such as consulting or anything like that,” he said. “I have many friends in the industry and I keep in touch, but that’s about it. By the time I retired, I had already made up my mind that when I called it quits, I would spend more time with Rose and do more of the things we want to do, and enjoy life.”