The dealership, Lovekyn Kia, will be opened by Sir Stirling Moss, Paul Philpott, Kia UK MD, and SY Kim, Kia UK president, on January 26.
Owner and dealer principal Andrew Shelly, previously business development manager at HR Owen, has an 86% stake in Barry Shelley Ltd in conjunction with Legend Holdings, a family business.
His business partner, ex-HR Owen director Barry Green, holds the rest.
Shelly bought the firm from the administrators in November 2006.
The reason for the difference in spelling – Andrew Shelly and Barry Shelley – is due to an error by the solicitors, who added the second ‘e’. Shelly decided not to change it.
He retained Lovekyn Garages’ service franchise with Citroën but lost the new car franchise after Citroën refused approval.
However, he continues to source new cars through partnerships with two London Citroën dealerships.
Shelly says Citroën is aware of the arrangement.
He has ambitions to run the largest Kia franchise in the UK in the next decade.
“Kia is one of the best manufacturers in the world. It’s growing, not shrinking. There is not only good management but good design. Its attitude is great. I had my free choice of manufacturers and I chose Kia.
“I want us to be the benchmark for customer service.”
Lovekyn Kia is targeted to sell 150 vehicles in 2008, but expects to sell closer to 200.