Make us your home page
Instagram

First VW dealership opens in North Suncoast

HOLIDAY — Rabbits and Beetles have arrived in Pasco County.

Kelly Volkswagen, the only Volkswagen dealership on the North Suncoast, has opened for business at 3102 U.S. 19, between Moog Road and Sunray Drive.

"We think the future is bright in that neighborhood," said Kelly Hassan, the 42-year-old owner of the new dealership. The 19,700-square-foot dealership features a two-story showroom, a 12-bay service center, 30 employees and an inventory of 100 new cars and 30 used cars.

Hassan said his market includes people looking for smaller, fuel-efficient cars with prices comparable to popular Honda and Toyota models. Jettas and Rabbits, for instance, are in the $15,000 to $20,000 range.

While U.S. car sales are at their lowest in a decade, Germany's Volkswagen is bucking the trend. The company's American subsidiary says its March 2008 sales were up 13 percent over its March 2007 sales.

Hassan pointed out his Holiday dealership's opening comes as the automaker goes into an aggressive "growth mode" here.

Volkswagen plans to more than triple its sales in this country over the next decade through marketing and by taking advantage of growing demand for cleaner diesel fuel. The company has said its goal is to sell 1-million vehicles annually by 2018.

Volkswagen is introducing diesel versions this year that will meet emissions standards in all 50 states. Every dealership, including Kelly, will have the updated diesel models by August, Hassan said.

Hassan, who lives in Lutz with his wife and son, has been in the automotive industry for nearly 20 years. He and Tampa car dealer Jason Kuhn were formerly investors in a Pasco County Ford dealership though he said he's only involved in the Volkswagen dealership now.

Kelly Volkswagen has been in the planning and building stages for nearly four years. When he launched the plans, Hassan acknowledged, economic times were better.

But he noted Tampa Bay area car sales had not been affected as much as sales in other areas. And he said he's taking a longer view of economic cycles.

"I'm one of guys who sees the glass half full," he said. "We're a great country that bounces back. We're optimistic about where it's going to go."

Jodie Tillman can be reached at jtillman@sptimes.com or (727) 869-6247.

First VW dealership opens in North Suncoast 05/06/08 [Last modified: Friday, May 9, 2008 10:45am]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Last steel beam marks construction milestone for Tom and Mary James' museum

    Growth

    ST. PETERSBURG — Tom and Mary James on Wednesday signed their names to the last steel beam framing the 105-ton stone mesa that will be built at the entrance of the museum that bears their name: the James Museum of Western and Wildlife Art.

    The topping-out ceremony of the James Museum of Western & Wildlife Art was held Wednesday morning in downtown St. Petersburg. Mary James (from left), husband Tom and Mayor Rick Kriseman signed the final beam before it was put into place. When finished, the $55 million museum at 100 Central Ave. will hold up to 500 pieces of the couple's 3,000-piece art collection. [Courtesy of James Museum of Western & Wildlife Art]
  2. Heights Public Market to host two Tampa Bay food trucks

    Business

    TAMPA — The Heights Public Market announced the first two food trucks for its "rotating stall," which will feature new restaurants every four months. Surf and Turf and Empamamas will be rolled out first.

    Heights Public Market is opening this summer inside the Tampa Armature Works building.
[SKIP O'ROURKE   |   Times file photo]

  3. Author Randy Wayne White could open St. Pete's biggest restaurant on the pier

    Food & Dining

    ST. PETERSBURG — The story begins with Yucatan shrimp.

    St. Petersburg Deputy Mayor Kanika Tomalin, pilot Mark Futch, Boca Grande, St. Petersburg Mayor Rick Kriseman, and author and businessman Randy Wayne White,  Sanibel, exit a Maule Super Rocket seaplane after taking a fight around Tampa Bay off the St. Petersburg waterfront, 6/28/17.  White and his business partners are in negotiations with the City of St. Petersburg to build a fourth Doc Ford's Rum Bar & Grille on the approach to the St. Petersburg Pier with a second event space on the pier according to White. The group met near Spa Beach after a ground breaking ceremony for the new pier. "We want to have our business open by the time the pier opens," said White. Other Dr. Ford restaurants are located on Sanibel, Captiva and Ft. Myers Beach. SCOTT KEELER   |   Times
  4. Guilty plea for WellCare Health Plans former counsel Thaddeus Bereday

    Business

    Former WellCare Health Plans general counsel Thaddeus M.S. Bereday pleaded guilty to one count of making a false statement to the Florida Medicaid program, and faces a maximum penalty of five years in federal prison. A sentencing date has not yet been set, acting U.S. Attorney W. Stephen Muldrow of the Middle District …

    WellCare Health Plans former general counsel Thaddeus M.S. Bereday, pleaded guilty to one count of making a false statement to the Florida Medicaid program, and faces a maximum penalty of five years in federal prison. A sentencing date has not yet been set, acting U.S. Attorney W. Stephen Muldrow of the Middle District of Florida stated Wednesday. [LinkedIn handout]
  5. DOT shows alternatives to former Tampa Bay Express toll lanes

    Transportation

    TAMPA — State transportation officials are evaluating at least a half-dozen alternatives to the controversial Tampa Bay interstate plan that they will workshop with the community over the next 18 months.

    Florida Department of Transportation consultant Brad Flom explains potential alternatives to adding toll lanes to Interstate 275 during a meeting Wednesday at the DOT’s Tampa office. Flom presented seven diagrams, all of which swapped toll lanes for transit, such as light rail or express bus, in the I-275 corridor from downtown Tampa to Bearss Avenue.