Meet Katie & Eric, Dealership Owners
After a two year wait spent poring over the paperwork to thirty possible dealerships, Katie Naughton and Eric Levitt found the right fit with 401 Dixie Kia in Mississauga, Ontario.
The young couple share the title of President and come with decades of experience and family ties to the automotive industry. Katie, a native of Aurora, Colorado, grew up in the business, holding every position at her father’s Ford store, including general manager for over three years. It doesn’t end there: Katie’s grandfather, John B. Naughton headed Ford’s Oakville assembly plant from 1965 to 1969 and was a close confidante of Lee Iacocca, who called John out of retirement to help him revamp Chrysler in 1980.
Eric comes with a similar pedigree. He made his start as a lot attendant at Roy Foss Motors and worked his way up to general manager of Pfaff Automotive Group’s Porsche store. Katie and Eric met at a 2008 NADA dealer academy conference in Washington, D.C.maintaining a long distance relationship until Katie moved up to Toronto to work in marketing.
Distinct from most car dealerships in the Greater Toronto Area, 401 Dixie Kia is independently owned and operated. Like the mom and pop stores you fondly remember from your childhood community, you can get to know Katie and Eric by strolling past and waving a hello. “We are always here at the store and our office is right on the showroom floor so we are happy to talk to customers,” says Naughton.
Katie and Eric’s enthusiasm for the Kia brand was also felt by the Korean automaker when they gave them the go-ahead to take over the franchise: “Kia was excited that we were coming aboard,” Levitt says. “They realized that we were totally committed to the store, and that as our only dealership, we had all our eggs in one basket.”