After marketing Kia vehicles in Red Deer for 14 years, the Scottsville Group has closed a much bigger deal — selling the dealership itself.
Scott Kia ceased operations at its longtime location at 6863 50th Ave. last Friday. The business reopened on Tuesday as Kia Red Deer at 7652 50th Ave., the former premise of Alberta Sport & Import Ltd.
Kia Red Deer’s dealer principle is Les Landsperg, who also operates Red Deer Mitsubishi, Lethbridge Mitsubishi and Cranbrook Mitsubishi. Mitch Tibbo, the group’s operations manager, said Kia is a great addition.
“The Kia brand is really up and coming,” he said. “It’s one of the fastest-growing automotive makers in the world.”
Tibbo said much of the staff and inventory from Scott Kia has moved to Kia Red Deer, and existing clients shouldn’t be impacted by the changeover.
“We have all the same parts and servicing available.”
Garrett Scott, an owner and chief operating officer of the Scottsville Group, said the decision to sell the Kia licence was motivated by space issues. The Scottsville Group operates Kipp Scott GMC Buick Cadillac and Scott Subaru near the former Scott Kia site, as well as Gord Scott Nissan a few blocks away at 7130 50th Ave.
Scott said renovations are planned for Scott Subaru and Kipp Scott to upgrade those facilities and improve parking. That work will spill over to the Kia site.
“We had to make a move to provide more space here, and unfortunately that meant moving Kia off the lot.”
After alternate locations for Scott Kia were considered, it was decided that selling the dealership was the best option.
“The offer for the Kia store outweighed trying to find a facility off-site,” said Scott.
Tibbo said Kia Red Deer’s new premises are suitable for its needs, with space for about 120 cars on the lot, and some operations — like auto detailing — being moved off-site to free up more room.
“We see huge potential in the Kia brand in Red Deer,” he said. “The customer base is here and we’re really going to reach out to that customer base and try to grow it in the city.”
Kia Red Deer should benefit from its association with the three Mitsubishi dealerships, said Tibbo, including through cost savings and having access to an array of new and used vehicles.
Landsperg, who bought Red Deer Mitsubishi in November 2012 and the Lethbridge and Cranbrook dealerships thereafter, resides in Red Deer.
The general manager of Kia Red Deer is Dan Duggal, who previously worked at Red Deer Mitsubishi.
Scott said renovations at Kipp Scott could begin within the month.
“What that’s going to do is essentially expand our whole service and parts department. The old Scott Kia building is actually going to be a temporary locaton for our GM service facility while we do some renovations there.”
A new Subaru facility is also planned, and after that the old Subaru building will be convereted into a stand-along Cadillac facility.
Scott Kia opened in 2000, shortly after the Korean auto manufacturer began selling cars in Canada.