New Midwest Kia site grows by 2 1/2 acres

WICHITA — Les Eck is already needing a little extra space for his Midwest Kia, which he moved to 4.5 acres at Kellogg and Tyler earlier this month.

“We had about two and a half acres to the east that we were going to keep open,” Eck says.

He says he thought he could one day use the land for another franchise, such as an Audi or Land Rover dealership.

Now, though, he’s refinishing the surface of the extra acres – partly in concrete and partly in gravel – because he needs the extra parking.

Eck says when he bought the Kia franchise from Steven Auto Group last year, the dealership had been selling about 25 or 30 Kias a month.

“That’s why they sold it.”

Eck says over time, he quadrupled those sales, and now it appears the new site will allow him to double his best numbers.

“We started doing even better.”

Eck says the extra space will allow him to hold events as well.

He’s still keeping his eye out for another franchise. If it’s small enough, he could possibly put it next to the Kia dealership. Most likely, he’d need new space, though.

“I’m always interested in something if it’s out there.”

Autoplex closes and nearby Hancock Automotive expands

WICHITA — The Autoplex at Douglas and Hillside has closed, and general manager Dave McCall is now going to be sales manager at Hancock Automotive around the corner at 1st and Hillside.

“He and I have been doing business together for several years, and we’ve often talked about merging because it would benefit . . . our clients,” Howard Hancock says. “So we decided to get together and have him come on board over here.”

Hancock specializes in the service and some sales of VWs, Audis and Land Rovers. He handles other makes as well.

“We were just doing a little bit of sales before,” he says. McCall is “going to bring his expertise here.”

Hancock, who started his business in 1998, now has room for about 20 cars.

“I have an additional lot to the north of First Street that I’m trying to work with the city on.”

That would bring his total to 35 or 40.

McCall is joining Hancock immediately.