PORT HAWKESBURY: Late last month, the Causeway Kia dealership closed unexpectedly overnight and didn’t reopen on the morning of August 20, after nearly 10 years in operation.
Customers and residents of the town learned of Kia’s closure by a posted notice on their door advising MacDonald Auto Group decided to centralize its sales and service to one location, MacDonald Kia in Sydney, to better serve their customers.
Jim MacDonald, a principal owner of MacDonald Auto Group told The Reporter the dealership on Reeves Street, which employed four people, was a small, satellite-store with a low volume of inventory.
“With all the new technology in all the vehicles, they have become very advanced, and you need a lot of special tools, and we have everything in Sydney,” MacDonald said. “Most of our customers were coming to Sydney anyway for service, so we decided we would centralize it, and bring everything to Sydney.”
The inventory on the lot was transferred to Sydney, and MacDonald noted that as a satellite-store, it was never considered a full-fledged Kia dealership.
Earlier this year, MacDonald Auto Group, sold MacDonald Ford and MacDonald Scotia Chrysler to Cape Breton businessman Rodney Colbourne, and at the time advised they would continue day-to-day operations of Causeway Kia.
“It’s a little more difficult with a smaller management group because we had a couple shareholders retire, and we’re trying to downsize and centralize everything here for the future,” MacDonald explained on the decision to close the doors. “But when it comes time for me to retire, we only have a small amount of people that are in the family that are interested in the business, everybody else have different interests.”
Five stores was too many for their future, so MacDonald said they downsized to three and made the decision to close the Kia dealership in Port Hawkesbury.
“It’s better for our customers, and it’s better for our future.”
The Causeway Kia property will be sold and sits on 1.57 acres, according to the Town of Port Hawkesbury records. The dealership building is just less than 3,000 square feet, and the property was most recently assessed at $494,900.