Category Archives: Automobile industry

Super Car Guys opening third dealership in former Joe Self Used Cars south-side space

UPDATED — Ride Auto Group, the company behind two Super Car Guys dealerships, is adding another one.

A third Super Car Guys will open where Joe Self Used Cars has been on the northwest corner of Pawnee and Broadway.

“We’ve always had expansion in mind,” says Aaron Wirtz, who handles marketing and media for Super Car Guys and Subaru of Wichita.

“The Super Car Guys brand is something … we feel like is very strong and very well developed,” he says. “It’s not something that we’re franchising out by any means, but it’s something that lends itself well to growth. … It’s ready to be plugged in.”

The change is effective Wednesday.

“We’re going to try to start selling cars today,” Wirtz says. “The signs are going up. We’re not wasting any time.”

Super Car Guys is taking over Joe Self’s inventory.

“We want to reach out to all different types of customers,” Wirtz says.

That will include used cars and trucks for retail customers and those who need special financing.

“We’ve been finding some success with lifted trucks right now,” Wirtz says of the raised trucks.

The dealership will undergo some cosmetic work while it’s open in order to look like other Super Car Guys dealerships on the east and west sides.

Wirtz says the dealerships are “specifically and intentionally planned to reflect our culture of openness and transparency.”

“It’s something we’ve devoted a lot of thought to.”

The former Joe Self space doesn’t have the Super Car Guys look.

“Right now there are a lot of offices and things like that,” Wirtz says. “It doesn’t feel as open.”

Super Car Guys has more expansion plans for the future.

“We definitely want to get things … started correctly for this location before starting anything else,” Wirtz says.

Joe Self says he may have expansion plans later as well.

“It’s a good possibility we might, yes,” he says.

“We’ll look at other possibilities that we might expand to.”

He has Joe Self Chevrolet Cadillac BMW. In addition to selling new cars, Self sells used cars as well. He says if he expands, it likely will be to sell more used cars elsewhere.

Self says the Super Car Guys had been looking for a south-side site for a while.

“We wish them well,” he says. “They do a good job.”

Wirtz says there’s a lot around the dealership, including a Walmart on the opposite corner.

“We’re excited about the amount of traffic that goes through there,” Wirtz says.

“It’s just really a beautiful intersection.”

Payday Motors to open in the former Lubbers East space in Andover

WICHITA — Payday Motors is going to be opening in the former Lubbers East space in Andover.

“This is our 25th year of business,” says owner Nelson Tucker.

Tucker has a Payday Motors at 4611 S. Broadway, and he used to have one near Kellogg and Greenwich before the city purchased his property in 2011 for the expansion of Kellogg.

“We’ve been looking for an east-side location since then,” Tucker says.

The Lubbers family closed its Andover store in February after a dozen years in business. A family member said there had been declining sales in recent years.

Tucker says the property, which is near Kellogg and Andover Road, is sizable.

“It’s pretty large,” he says. “It’ll hold 80-plus vehicles.”

The new dealership, which should open by early next week, will employ 12 people.

Tucker says he’s basically a subprime lender who finances 95 percent of what he sells to help people who can’t get financing another way.

After he gets the new dealership “kind of stablilized,” Tucker says he’ll likely look for west-side space.

“We’ll probably look there at some point,” he says.

For now, Tucker says he happy to simply be in business.

“Twenty five years is a long time,” he says. “We’re glad to still be there.”

Unruh Automotive Northeast expands from five bays to 13

WICHITA — Chris Myers has added almost 4,000 square feet to his Unruh Automotive Northeast at 2100 N. Beaumont, which is a block west of 21st and Woodlawn behind Bionic Burger.

He says business is “growing pretty rapidly to the point where we would have a delay in our service of a day or two just trying to get … to the vehicles.”

With the five bays he used to have, Myers says, “You can only work on so much in a given day.”

Now, he has 13 bays, each of which is two vehicles deep.

“So we can get a lot more vehicles in (and) take care of our customers quicker,” Myers says.

He says he’s invested in top-of-the-line alignment equipment for two alignment bays, and he’s added another large truck bay to service shuttle vans and make it easier for his employees to get to them without having to lie on the ground.

Myers also owns Auto M.D. in Derby.

There are two other Unruh Automotive stores in the Wichita area owned by someone else.

Myers is considering adding another east-side store.

“I have some things that are in the works,” he says. “It’s preliminary at this point.”

With his new bays at the northeast store, Myers says he doesn’t necessarily expect to double his business but plans “to get pretty close.”

Devlin Rod and Customs to double its size with new building

WICHITA — Tim Devlin first seriously considered expanding his Devlin Rod and Customs just before the economic crash of 2008.

That put things on hold, but now he’s ready to build a new place.

“Things have come back,” Devlin says.

“We’ve seen our business go through ups and downs,” he says. “We don’t build products people need. We build products that people want to have.”

Devlin is planning to build an approximately 12,000-square-foot building at the southwest corner of Douglas and Hydraulic.

“We have acquired the … old used-car lot that used to be part of Quality Chevrolet,” he says.

That’s just down from his current 6,000-square-foot space at 1811 E. Douglas.

Tim Devlin of Devlin Rod & Customs will bet moving to the southwest corner of Hydraulic and Douglas.

Tim Devlin of Devlin Rod & Customs will bet moving to the southwest corner of Hydraulic and Douglas.

Almost a decade ago, Devlin purchased RK Restorations at that property. He still does restorations, but that’s not the bulk of his business.

Devlin and his staff take old American cars and turn them into fast hot rods.

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Davis-Moore’s Lincoln dealership to move to Kellogg and Greenwich

WICHITA — On the heels of Davis-Moore Auto Group announcing the sale of its Nissan dealership, Dawson Grimsley has more news.

dawsonDavis-Moore Lincoln has a new home,” he says.

The dealership is moving to the former Lexus of Wichita space near the northeast corner of Kellogg and Greenwich. Scholfield Auto Plaza’s Lexus dealership moved further north on Greenwich near 13th Street.

“Hopefully, it’ll happen June 1,” Grimsley says of Lincoln’s move.

He says he won’t change much at the 2-acre lot.

“We’ll reface it and put Lincoln signature signs and stuff up.”

Davis-Moore also is building a new dealership for sales of Chrysler, Fiat and used cars on Kellogg across from Towne East Square. It will be ready in October.

Previously, the dealership announced it’s doing “a series of moves designed to prioritize business interests and increase efficiencies.”

Grimsley says there are several reasons the Lincoln move is included in those changes.

“First of all, the building that we’re in now, it’s not in the right spot,” he says of the current dealership on Kellogg between Edgemoor and Woodlawn. “It’s insufficient.”

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Mt. Vernon Automotive contents and property to be auctioned Wednesday

WICHITA — Mt. Vernon Automotive made it to its 50th anniversary this month, but that’s the end of the road for the repair shop.

“It’s a little bit sad for the whole family, but … it’s just really gotten so hard to run an independent automotive service because of the expensive diagnostic equipment and everything you have to buy nowadays,” says Charles Schmidt, whose father, Laurence, started the business.

“My dad started the business April 16 of 1964, and at that time he was at 3028 S. Hillside, and the name of the business was Hillside Auto Service.”

Then the shop moved to 2309 E. Mount Vernon in 1974 and became Mt. Vernon Auto Service. Around 1994, the business incorporated and became known by the name it is today. About the same time, Laurence Schmidt purchased the property across the street from his shop as a place to store more cars.

Both of those properties and the contents of the shop will be auctioned at the shop by McCurdy Auction at 10 a.m. Wednesday.

The main shop is a 1959 building with 3,550 square feet and five bays on a 12,600-square-foot lot. The storage property is on a 12,493-square-foot lot and has a 540-square-foot building, which was built in 1955 and at one time was a gas station.

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You don’t say

“Don’t ever let anyone tell you that an English or dance degree won’t provide you with tangible skills.”

Aaron Wirtz of Subaru of Wichita on the music video parody he made of the union protest against the dealership

You don’t say

“Too much #Shocker Spirit? Guilty!”

– A Facebook post from Subaru of Wichita, which has changed its response to a union “shame on” sign by putting up a new sign saying, “For excessive Shocker spirit”

Subaru of Wichita gets worldwide attention for response to union sign

WICHITA — Subaru of Wichita is getting the proverbial kind of advertising that money can’t buy since it retaliated against the “Shame on Subaru” sign the United Brotherhood Of Carpenters And Joiners Of America Local 201 planted in front of the dealership last week.

“It’s been a wild ride,” says Aaron Wirtz, who handles marketing and media for Subaru.

As Have You Heard? reported last week, the union is upset with Subaru for not hiring a union contractor for part of a remodeling job. Subaru responded with its own sign that plays off the “Shame” by saying, “For having unbeatable prices.” It also took to the Internet to share its side of the situation.

Since the story has been picked up by other news outlets, Wirtz says the dealership on East Kellogg has been inundated with attention from around the world. That included an interview that Fox News did with Wirtz on Wednesday morning.

“Can you believe that?” he says.

Wirtz says while the attention has been great, it’s not necessarily going to translate into selling a lot more cars. He points to an e-mail from someone in New Zealand.

“In the case of New Zealand, we’re probably not going to ship a new Subaru there,” he says. “However, I do feel like this has worked out about as good as it could have.”

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Subaru of Wichita responds to ‘Shame on Subaru’ sign with one of its own

suburuWICHITA — Labor dispute signs have been popping up at all kinds of businesses and nonprofits in the last couple of years, but Subaru of Wichita appears to be the first business to fight back.

“To be accused of desecrating the American way of life, we’re going to take a little bit of exception to that,” says Aaron Wirtz, who handles marketing and media for Subaru.

Earlier this week, the United Brotherhood Of Carpenters And Joiners Of America Local 201 began a protest in front of the dealership, which is on East Kellogg between Greenwich and 127th Street.

Subaru is in the process of a $1.5 million update to transform the property to the Subaru brand from the previous Suzuki brand that was there.

Wirtz says in addition to hiring a local architect on the project, Subaru hired Wichita’s Key Construction as its contractor. He says Key then hired Hi-Tech Interiors, a local nonunion firm, to do a small portion of drywall work.

In response, the Carpenters union now has people manning a “Shame on Subaru of Wichita” sign on an easement in front of the dealership.

“While we’re certainly not happy to see that, we were kind of unsurprised,” Wirtz says.

In response, Subaru now has a sign that plays off the “Shame” by saying, “For having unbeatable prices.” It also says “indisputable” in a couple of places on the sign.

Wirtz says Subaru respects the union’s right to protest.

“We’ve actually given them lunch. We’ve invited them to visit our facilities.”

Wirtz says he’s convinced the people with the sign are simply hired by the union to stand there.

“It doesn’t really look like they want to be here anymore than we want them to be here, to be quite frank.”

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