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Buddies hope to light up used car sales


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Gregg Moyer and Mark Cowart are lifelong friends whose business partnership was delayed by wet weather and the installation of an electrical transformer.

On a bright and dry day last week, a MidAmerican Energy Co. crew installed the transformer, providing Moyer and Cowart the chance to look two to three weeks into the future and the opening of Clive Motors at 11140 Hickman Road.

“It’s been one challenge after another,” said Cowart.

Clive Motors will be the second used car dealership under Moyer’s ownership. The only difference is that he is the sole owner of Car City at Meredith Road and Merle Hay Drive in Urbandale. He has other ownership partners at the Clive location.

Cowart will be the sales manager in Clive, after working 17 years as the used car manager for Jordan Motors Inc., which was bought in 2007 by Lithia Motors Inc.

With a two-story, 4,408-square-foot building nearing completion in Clive – located just east of Holmes Automotive Group with 20,000 potential customers driving by the dealership on Hickman Road every day – the two buddies are anxious to sell some cars.

An office building had been at the location, but it was demolished to make way for the auto dealership and show lot.

With the transformer in place, contractors can finish the lot, which will host about 65 vehicles that will cover the four-wheeled spectrum from sports cars to sedans to pickup trucks and SUVs.

A service garage will occupy 2,204 square feet on the lower level of the building, with the upper floor providing office space for Cowart and a sales crew of two men and two women, but no showroom.

“I suppose we could roll some motorcycles in here,” Moyer said, in case “we have to take them on a trade.”

Moyer and Cowart said the gender balance on the sales staff is by design. The top producer at Car City is a woman.

“Women seem to appreciate being able to buy a car from another woman,” Moyer said. “And men like to buy from a woman, too.”

Moyer said the complete build-out will cost about $650,000. He expects sales to reach 50 vehicles a month shortly after the dealership opens.

“Fifty will be good; 60 will be real good,” he said. “It’s going to happen.”

The time is right to open a used car dealership that will draw from the western suburbs, Moyer said.

“People are watching their budgets and buying used cars,” he said.

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