Kia makes move to avoid Carnival sideshow

Rebranding coincides with reopening of ’09 divorce filing

You may have noticed a change in the ubiquitous local Kia auto ads on your television. What was Carnival Kia is now Universal Kia.

According to state records, the name change was filed with the Secretary of State's office on Jan. 24. Despite the change, Chris Bostick, the former face of the three-location dealership chain in those ads, is still with the company of which he is a part owner.

The name change is so new that the receptionist answering the phone when we called Monday said, “Carnivaaaaa (pause) Universal KIA, how may I help you?”

Bostick, who became involved with the local dealerships in 2005, has not featured in the stores' ads since a Nov. 4 altercation with his wife, Dessie, at their Brentwood home that resulted in police officers being called. Dessie Bostick also had been prominently featured in the TV ads.

“Kia has changed the quality of the vehicle,” Bostick said regarding the rebranding. “The name Carnival drew attention to us when we were new. The car is a quality car that stands on its own now. The new name shows that and we are following the model of national Kia advertising.”

Bostick surrendered to Brentwood police the morning after the November incident. While Dessie Bostick appeared arm in arm with her husband at a hearing in Williamson County Circuit Court on Nov. 21, it seems the couple’s relationship is more arms’ length now.

According to documents filed last week in Williamson County Chancery Court, Dessie Bostick has renewed a divorce petition that was originally filed in May 2009. In the most recent filing to the case, she has asked for a temporary restraining order that bars her husband from access to lock boxes and safety deposit boxes containing “cash and gold coins.” She also requests that he be restrained from cashing or negotiating for cash warranty checks or any other notes made payable to him, his agents or employees.

The couple has three minor children and she requested a hearing before the court on the temporary restraining order for Feb. 19. This is his fourth marriage, her first.