New Hyundai showroom coming to Lima

LIMA — Ohio’s second-largest dealer of Hyundai vehicles is about to get even bigger with the construction of a new showroom on the west edge of Lima.

Tom Ahl, owner of Tom Ahl Hyundai, said the existing showroom that served the dealership for the past 33 years has become insufficient to handle the needs of customers and will soon be replaced with a new facility that includes on-site service bays and an expanded showroom.

“Hyundai wants all their dealerships to look alike, so they’ve kind of pushed us into making this decision,” Ahl said last week. “We had two choices: either to add to the present showroom or construct a new one.”

Ahl had shown foresight when he purchased a property located just west of the existing dealership several years ago. A former church and onetime headquarters of the Teens for Christ organization, located at 2701 Allentown Road, closed its doors a few years ago “and it seemed logical to tear it down and build our new building there,” Ahl said. “We’ve been moving dirt and getting ready for the foundation. We’re hoping to be done with construction by the end of February.”

Customers will find the new Hyundai site to be a one-stop service center.

“Right now our service department is at the Chrysler dealership,” Ahl said. “But once the new showroom site is open, it will include 12 service bays and two quick lube oil change stations.”

Another change, required by Hyundai management, is that Ahl relinquish the franchise rights for the dealership.

“I’ll be 73 soon, and there will be a day that I retire, so my daughter, Mindi, will take over the franchise,” he said. “Hyundai would not re-franchise us unless I transferred ownership to her.”

While Ahl is a little reluctant to embrace all the mandates handed down from above, he said the Hyundai brand has indeed been embraced by customers in Northwest Ohio.

“God and Lima have blessed us. We have definitely been growing. Hyundai is our No. 1 brand in terms of new car sales, and there is a great potential to grow even more,” Ahl said.

“With our beautiful new building, the company will give us even more cars to sell.”

Ahl also owns dealerships along Allentown Road offering vehicles made by Dodge, Jeep, Buick and General Motors.