Thomas KIA of Highland places focus on family values for more than 20 years

Thomas KIA of Highland places focus on family values for more than 20 years

In 1999, Thomas KIA of Highland became the first KIA dealership in the state of Indiana. Since then, the company has had a major impact on its surrounding communities, built a reliable, dedicated team, and continues to hold the same values since first opening its doors.

As a third-generation, family-run business, Thomas KIA of Highland embodies family values that still hold strong more than 20 years later.

“It was the Thomas family’s reputation that led us to beat out 40 other dealers and start the Thomas KIA franchise here in Highland,” said Tom Seely, General Manager at Thomas Kia of Highland. “The proximity to Chicago was great for business, and the Town of Highland was up-and-coming and a prime location for the dealership.”

Seely joined the Thomas KIA of Highland team back in 2013 in part because of the dealership’s family values and emphasis on giving customers and employees a memorable experience.

“The Thomas Family is truly made up of great people. They care about their employees and that has caused most of our team members to stay with us long-term,” Seely said. “It’s like a second home and a second family.”

Thomas KIA of Highland works hard to keep this family feel alive by hosting multiple events throughout the year such as potlucks, group outings to major league baseball games, and other get-togethers to encourage close relationships outside of the office.

From the beginning, the Thomas family also instilled the value of giving back to surrounding communities. Recently during the COVID – 19 pandemic, the dealership teamed up with Theo's Steaks & Seafood to supply meals to essential workers at Community Hospital in Munster.

“I think the Thomas KIA dealership is a true staple in the Highland community. We offer incredible customer service, employee support, and are active in our community because we truly care,” Seely said.

The dealership has seen substantial growth since opening in 1999, tripling sales and service. The fact that KIA continues to release remarkable vehicles also impacts the dealership’s growth and success.

Most recently, the Telluride is Kia's most awarded vehicle in the past year and the first sport utility vehicle to win the triple crown of the auto industry's most prestigious accolades: 2020 North American Utility Vehicle of the Year from North American Car of the Year (NACTOY)1; MotorTrend SUV of the Year; and a Car and Driver 10Best.

“I’m so proud of all the accomplishments the dealership has made in the sales and service department, but what I’m most proud of is the core team we’ve built with our employees and the close-knit relationship we all have,” Seely said. “For me, I’ve seen our employees accomplish major goals and go through major life events. When you create that family atmosphere, it’s great to be able to share these moments with one another.”

Looking forward, Thomas KIA of Highland hopes to continue on this path. This includes continuing to p positively affect surrounding communities by getting even more involved, and never losing sight of those family values that the Thomas family set as the gold standard years ago.

For more information on Thomas KIA of Highland, visit