Archive for Wednesday, July 12, 2000

Tonganoxie car dealer expands to Lawrence

July 12, 2000

Tonganoxie car dealer Sam Said is a man with a mission. He's out to take advantage of an auto survey that shows 52 percent of buyers in the Leavenworth County and Douglas County market buy their vehicles elsewhere.

So Said, who's owned City Ford for about 1 1/2 years, closed a deal last Friday to purchase a Lawrence building at 2300 W. 29th Terrace, where he plans to open a new-car dealership. The property in the Lawrence Auto Plaza was purchased from Jim Ellena for about $1.1 million, Said said.

He plans to decide soon which new-car franchise he will open.

"We are negotiating with a few franchises now," he said.

Among the possibilities: Kia, Suzuki, Hyundai and Daewoo.

Said doesn't plan to stop with just this purchase.

"There are more dealerships coming," he said. "We are talking about Kansas City and Lawrence. I like that area (Lawrence), and the reason is we've done surveys and found out that half of the consumers who are buying in that area in Leavenworth, Lawrence and Tonganoxie, 52 percent of that market are going somewhere else.

"There's something definitely wrong in that area."

He said he wasn't sure whether better prices or better selection were driving people from the area.

"If somebody's going to find out, it's going to be me," he said.

In addition, he plans to open a leasing and rental company in Tonganoxie, which will operate out of the City Ford dealership.

"We're going to try to franchise it, like Enterprise leasing does," he said.

He's particularly bullish on Tonganoxie's future.

"The area's got a lot of potential," he said. "I wish more businessmen would see that."

Said owns a finance company and a dealership in Overland Park, and he is involved in real estate, he said.

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