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Staying the Course Where Sun and Sales Shine

Car Guru Dave Listul Talks Vehicle Innovation, Giving Back—With a Little Golf in the Mix

Article by JJ Abernathy

Photography by Asher Swan and David & Goliath Marketing Agency

Originally published in St George City Lifestyle

Dave Listul, general manager of Findlay Kia of St. George, is partial to living where the sun shines and car sales are hot, especially Kia car sales.

Yes, his sport of choice is golf, and with southern Utah boasting 13 golf courses in a 20-mile radius and more than 300 days a year of blue skies, he is in a perfect location. Still, golf holds no distraction from his loyalty and dedication to the Kia make of cars. Whatever energy he gives to his sport, he is energized 10-fold when he and his team complete a sale, and the sales come often.

On display outside Dave’s office are myriad awards: Prestigious Kia Dealer, Kia Service Elite, Dealer of Excellence, Car Fax Top-rated Dealer, and the list goes on. Inside his office, one sees a complementary scene—a set of golf clubs noticeably displayed, with framed displays of the Riverside Course at the Atlanta Athletic Club. Georgia was his home between his St. George residencies.

Says Dave, “Kia’s Georgia facility is the only Kia manufacturing plant in the United States, and the only automaker in Georgia.” The plant covers 2,200 acres with a total investment of $1.8 billion. There Kia manufactures three models: the Telluride, the Sorento, and the K5 midsize sedan.

What is the best-selling Kia right now?

“Definitely the Telluride,” Dave replies. “Tellurides are backordered, and if we had a hundred right now, we could sell them all.”

Telluride, the Three-row Sport Utility

Telluride has received awards on Car and Driver’s 10Best list three consecutive years. Industry experts and consumers are impressed with its design, premium interior and refined ride. Year-to-date sales of the Telluride are up 39%, in part propelled by industry awards like Car and Driver’s 10Best.

The Telluride competed against 67 other vehicles—cars, trucks, SUVs, and vans—to earn a coveted place on the list of 10 vehicles. Judges selected the winners based on value, mission fulfillment and road manners. The field included all-new or significantly updated vehicles with a base price below $90,000, along with last year’s winners.

“The Kia Telluride remains one of our favorite SUVs on the market,” says Sharon Silke Carty, Car and Driver editor in chief. “It is a well-rounded top choice in its segment and is a benchmark family vehicle that never lets us down.”

Inspired by Innovation—the EV6

When asked about electric vehicles, Dave talks about the all-new 2022 Kia EV6 crossover as Kia’s first dedicated battery electric vehicle (BEV). The introduction of EV6 signals the U.S. launch of Kia’s strategy to deliver 11 all-new electrified models across the world by 2026.

The EV6 has the same 114.2-inch wheelbase as the Kia Telluride, and compares with the width of a Ford Mustang Mach E and the wheelbase and ground clearance of a Tesla Model Y.

This electric vehicle has fast charging times and delivers an estimated 300-miles of all-electric range (AER), vehicle-to-load (V2L) functionality, and a flat-floor interior that utilizes sustainable materials throughout the cabin.

Says Dave, “The first EV6 models are expected to go on sale in early 2022 in all 50 states.”

Giving Back

With compassion and a keen spiritual sensitivity, Dave talks about Findlay Kia’s contribution to the local Neighborhood Connection, an organization administered by Donna MacBean to guarantee students who qualify for school breakfast and lunch programs do not go hungry over the weekend. This program has grown from 80 to 800 students in just four years.

“Programs like this are an essential part of our corporate social responsibility,” says Dave.   

Arnold Palmer is quoted as saying: “Success in golf depends less on strength of body than upon strength of mind and character.” With Dave’s devotion to good causes and a disciplined approach to living, he well may be on a course for continued success—in sales, golf and giving back.

Headquartered in Irvine, California, Kia America continues to top automotive quality surveys and is recognized as one of the 100 Best Global Brands. Kia serves as the "Official Automotive Partner" of the NBA and offers a complete range of vehicles sold through a network of more than 750 dealers in the U.S., including the Telluride, Sorento and K5 proudly assembled in America.

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