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Sylvania Township auto dealership Taylor Kia has been recognized by the South Korean automaker as one of 30 Dealers of the Year for 2009, based on sales performance, facilities, and customer satisfaction.
Kia Motors Corp. flew Taylor Kia owner Stephen Taylor II and his wife, Allison, to Melbourne, Australia, along with the other dealers recognized worldwide, last month for a ceremony to recognize the achievement.
Mr. Taylor was one of two dealers in the United States who attended, although four were invited, a Kia spokesman said. The ceremony was held in conjunction with the 2010 Australian Open Tennis Tournament, for which Kia is a major sponsor.
Kia has about 670 dealers across the United States.
Michael Choo, a spokesman for the automaker, said the dealers of the year were chosen from among Kia's “Platinum” dealers for their customer interactions, facilities, sales, and service using a measurement system specific to Kia.
Mr. Taylor said he intends to share the award with his employees at a later celebration. He said the award is special in a region where the three domestic automakers — Ford Motor Co., General Motors Co., and Chrysler Group LLC — have a 61 percent market share.
“For the dealership and the area, I think it really legitimizes the brand and the franchise, knowing that in a really domestic-auto-dominated town like Toledo, the brand can do quite well,” he said. He opened the dealership a dozen years ago.
According to the Toledo Auto Dealers Association, Taylor Kia sold the most vehicles last year among metro Toledo dealers with a single franchise, selling 1,442 vehicles.