Business Profile: Lonnie Khmelev

Posted: Tuesday, December 04, 2001

Title and firm: Lonnie A. Khmelev, 24, is the owner of Affordable Auto Sales, a Lemon Creek area car lot. His partner is Jeremiah Beedle, 22.

Services: Affordable Auto Sales debuted in June 2000 across the street from Costco in the Lemon Creek area. "We are bringing in more affordable used cars," Beedle said. "We try to hit a range from around $5,000 to $15,000. In some cases we go above and in some cases, below. We look for family cars: Four doors, low gas mileage, reliable; mostly sedans and minivans." Sales sheets on each vehicle allow browsers to read about it, and take copies home if they wish.

Quotable: "Our location is pretty much what sells our cars. I don't have to do much advertising," Khmelev said. "We don't offer financing or on-the-spot salesmen. We had only three cars when we started, and we're investing all our profits right back in the business."

The lot averages 15 vehicles at all times, although stock sometimes swells to 25.

Background: Khmelev, who has a degree in business management from the University of Alaska Southeast, has been selling cars throughout his high school and college years. "Selling cars is definitely what I am going to do in my life," he said.

Family: Khmelev's mother, Janna, was offered a contract to teach Russian at Juneau-Douglas High School in 1991. The whole family moved here from Kamchatka, including younger brothers now 7 and 13 , and became permanent residents. Lonnie's father, Anatoly Khmelev, teaches physical education at Auke Bay Elementary School.

Contact information: Beedle is on the lot from noon to 5 p.m. Saturdays.

"We are not there most of the time. So if you have genuine interest, you give us a call and we get out there." For appointments or details, call 586-3646.

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