Carrie Rengers

Brandon Steven purchases Volvo of Wichita

Brandon Steven, shown in his office at Eddy’s Toyota, has purchased Volvo of Wichita. He’s taking it over on April 1 and renaming it Eddy’s Volvo of Wichita.
Brandon Steven, shown in his office at Eddy’s Toyota, has purchased Volvo of Wichita. He’s taking it over on April 1 and renaming it Eddy’s Volvo of Wichita. The Wichita Eagle

It’s about a year and a half after he would have preferred to buy it, but auto dealer Brandon Steven has purchased Volvo of Wichita and is renaming it Eddy’s Volvo of Wichita.

“It never hit the market,” he says of when the dealership sold in October 2013.

Scott Davies, Steve Hatchett and Tom Devlin purchased Gorges & Co. Volvo at the time, and Davies has been running it.

“I’m happy for Brandon,” Davies says. “He’ll bring a new energy to Volvo and their customers. … Their customers will like him. He’ll do real good here.”

The transition officially happens on April 1.

The store will remain at 3211 N. Webb Road, which is where Gorges & Co. had the store.

“The store is built just for Volvo,” Steven says. “It’s a good store.”

He says the store isn’t on the beaten path of other car dealerships, “which is probably pretty good and ideal for Volvo customers.”

Steven says Volvo customers “are some of the most loyal customers in the world” and will go anywhere for the cars. He says it might be nice for customers “just to get away from the hustle and bustle of all the other dealers.”

“The building needs some love, so I’m going to give it some love like I always do.”

There are eight service bays and a customer lounge.

“It’s real customer friendly,” Steven says.

He says Wichita once was a Volvo town.

“Used to be. Used to be big time. The last five years it went the other way.”

He says Volvo hasn’t had new products in several years, but that’s about to change with eight new products that will debut in the next few years, such as the XC90 SUV.

“That’s just going to blow everyone’s mind, I’m told,” Steven says.

He says Volvo is known for having outstanding vehicles.

“Volvo’s been the most consistent, safest car on the road in our lifetime.”

Steven has met with Volvo employees.

“I’m letting them know we’re going to take (the dealership) back to the next level that it deserves to be,” he says. “That’s where we excel.”

Steven has nine brands – Toyota, Scion, Ford, Chrysler, Dodge, Jeep, Ram, Subaru and now Volvo – and is moving them all under the Eddy’s flag.

“I’m kind of going on this Eddy’s theme,” he says. “It’s got a good ring.”

Davies took on Volvo after having to close his Saturn dealership.

“I wasn’t ready to get out of the business when General Motors went bankrupt,” he says. “Now I’m going out on my terms.”

Davies, 62, says he’s retiring.

“Well, I have been doing this for 40 wonderful years, and it’s been a great run, and it’s time for me to spend time with my family and friends and volunteering,” he says. “I have met so many people. I’ve sold over 100,000 cars, and now it’s time to spend my time doing some things that I’ve always wanted to do.”

First on his list: “I’m going to rest for a while.”

Then, he says, “I’m going to look and see what I can do for fun.”

For Steven, the Volvo purchase brings his career full circle in a way.

“Interestingly enough, that’s where I started in the car business,” he says.

In 1994, he started washing cars for the Volvo and Volkswagen dealership when the Gorges family owned the business on South Oliver.

By the next year, Steven, who was a senior in high school, was allowed to sell cars “after much convincing.”

Scott Pitman – his partner in Subaru of Wichita and Super Car Guys – was his boss.

“He was the one who trained me to sell cars,” Steven says. “Small little world isn’t it? Small little town.”

He knows just what kind of town he wants it to be, too.

“It’s going to be a Volvo town again.”

Reach Carrie Rengers at 316-268-6340 or crengers@wichitaeagle.com. Follow her on Twitter: @CarrieRengers.

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