On Monday, January 25, Kia of Oceanside customers were probably surprised to find the dealership closed.
The car lot, located off SR-78 at 2205 Vista Way, used to be the Saturn of West 78 dealership until early 2009. The same owners converted it to Kia, yet still welcomed Saturn’s warranty and service. The lot and showroom were cleared of new and used cars over the weekend of January 23.
“It is tough to make money with Kia,” said company spokesperson Marva Sadler, referring to the lower price point of Kia cars compared to other brands. But Sadler indicated that it wasn’t necessarily the bad economy that shuttered the Oceanside dealership. “We were fighting with the landlord for the last year and we just got tired of fighting.” Sadler added that she thought the landlord had a better offer from someone else.
With General Motor’s inability to close a sales deal with auto mogul Roger Penske, Saturn, the car brand started by GM in 1990 as “A New Kind of Car Company,” will shut down at the end of the 2010 model run.