When Merced Hyundai went out of business this past February, a lot of Hyundai owners were left without a local place to take their cars for service.
Owners with warranties found that they had to take their cars to either Modesto or Fresno for servicing.
Now those owners don't have to travel out of town anymore.
Isenberg Volkswagen Kia, which has been selling cars in Merced for 50 years, has taken over the Hyundai dealership and both will be selling and servicing Hyundais.
Paul Isenberg, manager of the dealership, said the business was owned by the Isenberg family from 1950 until 1997, when Sargiz Isaac of Santa Clara bought it. After being associated with Volkswagens for years, the business added Kia a few years ago.
When the Hyundai dealership closed, a lot of Hyundai owners turned to Isenberg's.
"We had a lot of calls asking if we serviced Hyundais," Isenberg said. "They figured if we knew Kias, we knew Hyundais. That just wasn't true. They had to take their cars out of town."
But the owner of Isenberg had been thinking about carrying Hyundais for a while, Isenberg said. The owner made the decision a couple of months ago, and became an official dealer in late October.
When Merced Hyundai closed, a lot of cars were left locked in the building on 16th Street. Those cars have all been moved to the Isenberg dealership just across the street. That added about 40 cars to Isenberg's lot.
In an iffy economy, when a lot of car dealerships are going out of business, a dealership that's expanding instead is rare. But Isenberg is confident the owner made the right decision.
"We're optimistic that this move will boost our sales up by a half," Isenberg said.
Isenberg will offer Hyundai owners sales, service and parts. Two certified Hyundai technicians will start Monday.
Reporter Carol Reiter can be reached at (209) 385-2486 or firstname.lastname@example.org.