New car dealership opens in Chatfield

Kristy and Kyle Davis are the proprietors of Chatfield Motors, the new car dealership on North Main Street. GRETCHEN MENSINK LOVEJOY/CHATFIELD NEWS
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Kyle and Kristy Davis want Chatfield to have something wheely good.

“The whole goal is to serve Chatfield and the surrounding area,” said Kyle, co-owner of Chatfield Motors, the new car dealership on North Main Street, north of Subway, in the former Ries Auto building. “There’s enjoyment in seeing someone take ownership of a new car, and we want to keep it simple, make everybody feel welcome, local or not local.”

The Davises bought the property and two other parcels adjoining it — the dealership building has a rental home sandwiched between the car lot and Hammell Equipment – in late July. Kristy related, “We closed on July 27.”

Her husband stated, “We got our dealer’s license the same day. We were open Aug. 1. I just have a passion for cars and want to spread that passion to other people. I’d been looking at this for about a year. We moved to Chatfield two years ago, and this place was going back to the bank, but we had to wait six more months for the redemption period, but we actually tried to buy it before that. We live here and liked the location on Highway 52.”

Kyle explained that his automotive passion grew and drew him to open an independent dealership. “I grew up around Eyota, and my grandfather was in the car business,” he said. “He was in Chevrolet for 43 years at Usem’s in Austin. I grew up around cars, and I had a passion for cars. I’ve been into cars since I was 17. I started at Adamson’s, then I went to Domaille, then I left the car business and went into construction, then I went back to cars. I was part owner of Rochester Motor Works, but my partner, Tom Harrison, bought me out at Rochester Motor Works.”

The foreclosed Ries Auto car dealership was almost ready for Kyle and Spring Valley native Kristy to open up shop when they signed the ownership papers, but there was a little work to be done, according to Kristy.

“We pretty much had to clean, get some signage up, check the plumbing and heating, and we’re doing some fix-ups, like repainting, putting in a new garage door on the two-car detached garage, but there wasn’t a whole lot to be done,” she noted.

Her husband agreed. Kyle stated, “We bought three parcels, and the house is rented already. We had to set up our website at, get listed on and It’s challenging getting everybody to know we’re here, but we want to make the experience no high-pressure and hassle-free car buying. We’re pretty simple people to deal with.”

Chatfield Motors’ inventory will include a range of cars, SUVs and a few motorcycles, as Kyle shops at car auctions three times a week and also finds new car trade-ins that will appeal to customers.

“We plan to concentrate on the $6,000 and under cars, but we’ll have a handful of stuff between $6,000 and $12,000,” Kyle said. “The goal is to have approximately 30 to 40 cars at all times, and we’ll also carry a few motorcycles. We’ll have some trucks and SUVs closer to winter. The Highway 52 traffic…I think we can pull people from Rochester and Iowa. We had a guy come here from the Cities to buy a car. It’s a great location. I like a small town, and obviously, in a small-town location, you can value-price cars better.”

Kyle and Kristy have two subcontractors who do the mechanical work, and Kyle will occasionally do some of the repairs himself if he feels he’s got some time while not taking care of customers’ needs.

Kyle said, “I think we’ll keep it simple and run 30 to 40 cars at a time, and we’ll keep the inventory updated. When I get cars in, I’ll make sure they’re detailed, clean, put up online.”

The couple awaits customers looking for friendly service and sturdy vehicles to get them where they need to go. He added, “We’re local. Two local people who want to help the town grow.”

Chatfield Motors is located at 441 Main St. N, Chatfield, and is open Monday by appointment, Tuesday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., Wednesday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and after by appointment, and Saturday from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.

The Davises are willing to stop by to show cars by appointment. For more information, call 507-867-1450.