Kia partners with Taylors on development of new buildingWritten by Megan Kolodgy | | firstname.lastname@example.org
The Rust Belt is replete with the remnants of the once-booming American automotive industry. Gutted plants dapple the landscape and sales of locally made cars are the lowest they have been in anyone’s memory.
But take a drive down the Central Avenue Strip, and it looks as if the industry’s booming — and at its newest addition, Taylor Kia, it is. So much, in fact, that it required an upgrade in space.
Taylor Kia is operated by the 28-year-old Stephen Taylor, son of Steve Taylor, who owns the Taylor Automotive Family, which includes Taylor Cadillac. In the family’s efforts to absorb its section of the strip, it opened the Kia dealership out of the former Hing Me Chop Suey House in 1999. The franchise performed quite well, better than its Chinese-restaurant roots could support.
So the senior Taylor bought up the eight-acre portion of the highway that runs up to U.S. 23 with the help of Kia sales and performance incentives, put down the $5.5 million necessary to create a facility that could support Kia’s growth and allow the Taylors to consolidate their business, adding a service garage to the building. The garage was previously located Downtown, eight miles away from the dealership.
“Kia will contribute to the building of the dealership,” Steve Taylor said. “They give three to five hundred dollars for every car you sell toward your new facility. So they
will end up contributing somewhere
over a million dollars to building
Kia requires all its dealerships to have a uniform look on the outside, hence the building’s rather non-descript, gray edifice. But the car maker provides far fewer stipulations for its interior, allowing the father and son to create whatever sort of atmosphere they pleased.
Last Wednesday, M.C. Hammer’s hit single “U Can’t Touch This” was piped through the speakers as customers milled about.
“We wanted it to be classic contemporary,” Stephen Taylor said of Kia’s décor. “The dome in the center of the store is from France. Our customer base is changing from younger to a bit older, so we want the interior to appeal to both groups.”
The process of clearing out such an expansive amount of space in an already congested area had already begun when Steve Taylor purchased the property. The previous owner had cleared out a few houses and other structures that populated the land. They did, however, have to turn Moffat, a small cut-through street, into a cul- de-sac, which Steve Taylor maintains pleased the residents, who now have nothing separating their side yards from the dealership’s parking lot.
“We’re planning on putting bushes and shrubs and a fence over there,” Stephen Taylor said. “We’re putting in trees, grass and a sprinkler system.”
One reason the Taylors jumped on the particular property was because of the fact that it abuts the highway.
“My son wanted to get that property on the expressway because at that point — you know, there’s no other dealer in Toledo that’s on an expressway,” Steve Taylor said.
He cites a statistic that more than 120,000 cars would pass through that stretch of highway each day. He said he believes exposure like that is tough to beat.
Steve Taylor said he eventually would like to create one giant campus that holds the Kia dealership and his Cadillac dealership.