Kal’s Kars brand new 35,000-square foot service center is an immense investment just off US Hwy 71 North in Wadena that most people don’t even know about yet.
A new driveway leading to what some in the business call Kal’s Kars North has recently been completed to offer ease of access to what staff say will be a major asset to the community.
A common concern Kal’s service manager Randy Mumm hears is the lack of quick access to vehicle maintenance. In some cases, people are having to wait three weeks for an oil change. Mumm wants to see that drastically improved with the addition of this station and service staff. He wants to be able to offer the best service as quickly as they can.
This new center not only will work to offer additional vehicle maintenance for the community, it’s also the place where every vehicle passes through before reaching the Kal’s Kars sales lot also on Hwy 71 in Wadena. At this site, cars and trucks line the exterior from recent auction purchases. Once they are brought in they go through maintenance inspections, a detail center and finally a car wash bay so they come out showroom ready.
The staff of five full-time techs, four full-time detailers and three other staffers help make the place run smoothly. All mechanics work full-time preparing vehicles for the car lot. So, to handle the load of a retail center, Mumm said he’s ready to hire another four full-time mechanics to help keep up with the pace and fill the additional bays that sit ready for action.
“By fall I want to open up to full retail service. So anybody comes in here gets an oil change, brakes, struts, anything - by October,” Mumm said. With that retail, he also plans to offer a full line of products to deck out your new or used vehicle including bed covers, step bars, floor mats and more.
Also in house is a NAPA store that specifically serves to fill orders for the service center. A NAPA employee, Shawn Howe, stays busy filling orders for the mechanics in house. Mumm said having these NAPA parts gives them access to a multitude of other NAPA stores from a huge region and get what they need the same day.
How is business?
Mumm describes pandemic sales as “unbelievable.” Staff wonder when sales will slow down as they have had a record year. In a time where many businesses were shut down and people were out of work, car lots like Kals Kars could not keep their lots full. He explained that car lots are having to pay more for vehicles, and car buyers are willing to pay higher amounts to bring home a good vehicle.
“Right now you either pay too much for them, or you have an empty lot,” Mumm said.
He is starting to see that supply and demand catch up but they still have their hands full selling 100 cars a month, or 1,200 cars a year.
The current staff includes some longtime mechanics that know their craft well. Mumm has been a part of Kals Kars for about 20 years now. He got his start pushing a shopping cart around the sales lot wiping down vehicles for a quarter a car. Looking back at his start in a small used car lot to the current cutting edge facility in town, the future looks bright for this important Wadena business.
“It was a big work in progress, but we made it through,” Mumm said.
In a little under a year, the business was able to create this state-of-the-art shop on the outskirts of town that is now ready to serve the community.
While the new service center has a lot going on, there’s still plenty of action at the old center, which has been transformed into a powersports shop where ATVs, snowmobiles, golf carts and other recreational vehicles get tuned up or tricked out. Just like vehicle sales, recreational vehicles are selling like crazy. Golf carts are a very hot commodity.
Car sales remain at the core of this business and all directions are pointing towards continued growth for these people in business.
The new office is open Monday - Friday 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Give them a call at the new location at 218-639-1130.