NILES — A Niles car dealership continues to provide quality vehicles and service to Niles’ smaller customers.
Martinez Stephens, of Niles, has owned and operated Kiddie Car Dealership for three years. Its toy car dealership offers remote-controlled, hand-drive, and battery-operated toy cars and trucks for kids of all ages.
The remote control option allows parents to safely control the movements of the vehicle while their children enjoy the ride.
“I just love doing it and I love seeing the smiles on [the children’s] faces and stuff like that,” Stephens said. “Most parents are actually more enthusiastic than their children. Once they realize that they can do it by remote control, even if the child grows up, you can play with a remote control car.
Stephens said he has several different makes and models of toy cars and trucks, including Mercedes Benz, Land Rover, Range Rover, GMC, Jeep, McLaren, Lamborghini and Volkswagen. Additionally, Kiddie Kar Dealership also offers four-wheel tractors, six-wheel tractors, and UTVs. It also sells personalized nameplates, license plates and seat belts for vehicles.
“If someone is looking for a specific color, if it’s not sold out, I’ll buy it and they’ll just leave me a deposit,” he said. “I’ll pick it up, put it together and they can either pick it up or I can deliver it.”
A personal trainer by trade, Stephens was introduced to the world of small cars by an associate. After purchasing the toy vehicles from a vendor and learning how to assemble and program them, Stephens opened a shop and began selling them in the Niles area.
“I went home knowing how to put them together, knowing what to look for and knowing how to program and troubleshoot,” he said. “The rest of the story.”
Entrepreneurship is family. Stephens’ daughters, Neriah and Naomi Stephens, founded her own line of cosmetics, NS Cosmetics, last year. Stephens’ own company found success, with customers from Michiana and beyond lining up to buy new wheels.
“I’m having fun and business is good,” he said. “I have many satisfied customers. I have a high turnover rate getting rid of them because they get quality products.
While the same vehicles can be purchased on Amazon, Stephens said they will be more expensive than what he offers.
“You can find a lot of these on Amazon, but due to the price the guy is selling them to me at, I always try to stay $100-$150 less than Amazon. [Amazon] also give it to you in the box while I do all the work for the parent. They can pick them up for me already assembled, already repaired and with me, staying at the low price with the same guarantee.
Stephens operates Kiddie Car Dealership from his home in Niles. In the future, Stephens would like to transition his business to a local storefront.
“My plan is basically to have a local store,” he said. “Maybe in the city center where the restaurants are. It would be nice to have a small store; that’s the ultimate goal.
While kids enjoy driving their shiny new vehicles, Stephens said it’s the parents who appreciate the toy cars the most.
“It’s a fun company to be a part of,” he said. “It’s nice to see the kids smile, but it’s not like watching the parents. Parents are the best customers; they see it and they think “are you kidding me”, especially when you turn on the car and listen to the radio. I really like doing this and I see myself doing this for a long time.
Interested readers can find more information online at kiddiecardealership.com or by contacting the Kiddie Car Dealership Facebook page.