San Antonio Hyundai Dealer Removes Landmark

Matthew Guy
by Matthew Guy

san antonio hyundai dealer removes landmark

Over the weekend, your author happened upon a rural Ford dealership seemingly frozen in time, still using signage from past decades and proudly eschewing whatever cold corporate design is currently being foisted upon dealer principals by The Suits in Dearborn. It was neat to see a store embrace its heritage.

Not all are so lucky, such as a San Antonio Hyundai dealer who is currently removing what many are describing as a local landmark. Why? According to the dealer group’s head of marketing, it’s not part of the “Hyundai experience.”

As you’ve likely surmised, the dealer is in the larger throes of constructing a new dealership building and is seemingly trying to align the rest of its décor with the new corporate look. Local media describes the 26-foot-tall statue was removed a couple of weeks ago as part of the renos after standing for more than four decades on that spot. Originally, it stood atop the roof of a dealership called Superior Pontiac in the city’s downtown area, then moved to its present home when that business hauled up stakes for the present location near the Loop 410 in San Antone. Here’s a Google Streetview image from that era.

The place changed hands, as dealers tend to do, eventually switching to the Hyundai brand around the 2009 bankruptcy of General Motors, perhaps as part of Old GM’s culling of its dealer body in an effort to stave off annihilation and as part of its rebuilding process. As an aside, the old Pontiac dealer in your author’s town morphed into hawking Kia vehicles, meaning more than one shunned dealer found solace in the arms of a Korean brand. Pop a remark in the comments if you know of other examples.

Back on the shoulder of Loop 410, the statue is described as having weathered not just changes of ownership and brands but also activities by climate and humans. An ill-fated repainting about 20 years ago caused it to turn pink in the sun, while the most recent crew who restored the statue described finding about 300 holes pockmarked by projectiles including bullets. Texas, ya’ll.

Reps for the dealer group say they’ve yet to find a new home for the fiberglass statue.

[Images: Google Streetview]

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  • ToolGuy ToolGuy on Aug 16, 2023

    More info on The Chief

  • RHD RHD on Sep 01, 2023

    Hyundai, according to a number of reputable sources*, is planning to commission and install a similarly sized statue of a native Korean Goguryeo warrior in the place of the Chief. Local government officials and civic groups have not expressed any opposition to the new statue.

    *The number of sources is zero. Zero is a number.

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