Midwest Kia franchise may move to the southeast corner of Kellogg and Tyler

UPDATED — When Ford dealer Les Eck announced he was buying Wichita’s Midwest Kia franchise this summer, he said the dealership would “stay at its current location for now.”

“We’ll be doing something new in the future, the next year,” he said.

It looks like that time may be now.

The Oct. 4 agenda for the area planning board has a platting item for something called the KIA addition at the southeast corner of Kellogg and Tyler. The property is 6.71 acres.

The Kia dealership currently is at 6401 E. Kellogg, just across and a few blocks west of Eck’s Rusty Eck Ford at 7310 E. Kellogg.

When Steven Auto Group announced it was selling the Kia dealership to Eck, Steven CEO Harold Johnson told The Eagle his company was interested in selling because Kia wanted a new facility, possibly at a different location.

“After doing (a new) Toyota building, and Infiniti and Volkswagen before that, we said, ‘Let somebody else have that fun.’”

No one is commenting yet about possible new Kia space. We’ll keep you posted.

Sam’s Auto Mall to add service center

WICHITA — It’s been a long wait, but Sam Taha is happy to report he’s preparing to open a new service center for his Sam’s Auto Mall, which recently opened at 8335 E. Kellogg.

“We are really eager to open it back up,” Taha says. “It’s vital.”

Taha used to have two locations. The one on West Kellogg just east of Maize Road closed in 2008 to make way for Indian Motorcycle. That’s where Taha had his service center.

His location at Pawnee and Oliver, which closed Oct. 1, was too small for a service center.

“We had to let people go at that time,” Taha said. “I hated that. We did not have any room to even help our customers.”

Nor could he service the used cars he was selling, so Taha says it cost him a lot of money to send out the work. That financial burden hurt “tremendously,” he says.

On Dec. 5, the service center will be ready at his new store, which is where Davis-Moore Infiniti used to be. The building has been empty for several years.

The service center will offer complete car service, such as brake and tire service and oil changes. Also, Taha says, he’ll offer reconditioning, which he says makes cars look like new on the inside and outside.

Sam’s sells late-model used cars. Taha calls them “pretty cars” with low mileage.

He says the service center won’t be solely for customers who have purchased cars from him.

“We are going to open for anybody to come in.”