By Dennis Seid
TUPELO – Carlock Kia will be moving into a bigger and better location by June.
The dealership, now on South Gloster Street, will be relocating next to its sister dealership, Carlock Toyota, on Cross Creek Drive. The dealerships sit behind PetSmart and Staples.
“We’re hoping to get it done in about six months, weather permitting,” said Larry Brymer, the general manager for both dealerships.
The new Kia facility will feature the South Korean automaker’s latest “Gallery” design, which features clean lines with glass and steel. It will complement the Toyota dealership, which was built in 2009.
Brymer said the new Kia store will double in size, to about 12,000 square feet. Eight service bays nearly triple the current capacity. And the new building will sit on three acres, with room for 170 vehicles.
“We’re really excited about it,” said Brymer, who said he’ll also be buying a Segway scooter to travel between the two dealerships. “And I’m happy that they’ll be closer so I won’t have to drive so much between the two.”
The South Gloster Street property won’t be left vacant however. Brymer declined to reveal too many details, but said, “We’ll still occupy the building. … it will be a win-win for both areas of town.”
The Kia dealership relocation is a multi-million-dollar investment, that also will add about 15 new workers, bringing the total workforce to 50.
The move also brings the Kia automotive group closer – Carlock Nissan on North Gloster Street is just a few blocks away.
Brymer said he expects sales to double when the new location opens.
“We’re not where we’d like to be (in sales), but this will help us get there,” he said.
Kia has been coming on strong in recent years, along with its sister company, Hyundai. In November, Kia’s U.S. sales were a record for that month at 45,411, led by Soul and Optima sedans. For the year, Kia’s U.S. sales have topped 518,000.