Victoria is ideal for electric vehicles because of climate, typical low kilometres, topography, and excellent support from municipalities for infrastructure, explained Ostermann. “Plus, our power is so green. They just make a lot of sense in Victoria. But because everyone’s lifestyle is so different, it’s imperative to have all the facts before you make a decision.”
“We want to be the go-to place for electric vehicles on the island,” said Ostermann. “And not just sales”. We want to be the go-to place for information too, to help people navigate through what’s traditionally been a confusing process.”
“I liked them so much I bought the company,” joked Greg Churchill, co-owner of the newly minted Kia Victoria.
Kia Victoria, New Owners, New Name, New Outlook
After 10 years in Victoria, Graham Kia has been acquired by Churchill and his business partner Brad Ostermann. Contemporaries for many years in the automotive industry, the two island locals only recently took the plunge into business together.
“First and foremost, Graham Kia has always been known as a family owned-business where customer service and community engagement was always a priority,” said Churchill. “Brad and I have the same core values. We’re eager to maintain and build on that philosophy.”
After being associated with the Graham family for the past decade in the automotive industry, Ostermann agreed. “I have a great respect for how they do business. Because we too are a family-owned local business, we’re in a unique position to engage with the community on a personal level.”
But the partners agree that having solid core values is only part of a successful business.
Kia has quietly become an industry leader. Kia is currently lauded as the top mainstream brand for Initial Quality by JD Power.
Kia was awarded six JD Power awards for 2019, including Small SUV Quality Award for the Kia Sportage, Small Car Quality Award for the Kia Rio, Compact Car Quality Award for the Kia Forte, Minivan Quality Award for the Kia Sedona, and Highest Dependability Compact Multi-Purpose Vehicle for their cult favourite the Kia Soul.
“I’m excited about the quality of the brand,” said Ostermann. “It’s no coincidence that you’re starting to see Kia everywhere. If you look at interior fit and finish, features and packaging, and price point, it’s an incredible value in an expensive city.”
Kia is also being recognized for their line-up of hybrid, plug-in electric, and battery electric vehicles, including the Soul SUV, the Optima mid-sized sedan, and all-new Niro hatchback.
“I feel that Kia is the best automotive brand out there for the imminent change happening in the auto industry towards zero emissions vehicles,” said Churchill.
The partners are keeping up with the fanfare by renovating the dealership to match.
Spring renovations will include a full revamp and modernization. Kia Victoria will expand service hours and capacity to reduce wait-times and make it more convenient for their customers.
But after all is said and done, Churchill and Ostermann are just happy to be a part of the Greater Victoria business community.
“With four sons growing up here, I have skin in the game,” said Ostermann. “I want Kia Victoria to be a business leader that is not only serving the community but is also an integral part of it. We’re excited to play a role in the future of Victoria by being a great place to do business, because, quite simply, the more people want to support Kia Victoria, the more we’re able to support our community.”