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Omaha Magazine

Familienbande: Alex Konuhov’s Love of Audis Was Forged by Family

May 23, 2023 02:56PM ● By Mike Whye
how i roll slm auto care b2b june july 2023

Photo by Sarah Lemke.

How I Roll - Alex Konuhov’s Love of Audis [5 Images] Click Any Image To Expand
It’s easy to understand why Alex Konuhov likes German-made cars—he’s been around them for much of his life. Growing up in Drogobych, Ukraine, a city of 76,000 people near the Polish border, Konuhov’s father, Sergey, imported cars from other countries to sell there. Among the brands he handled were Volkswagen, BMW, Porsche, and the German Audi—one of the oldest car companies in the world, with its first auto produced in 1910. 
“They’re all about quality in every way you look at them,” said Konuhov while sitting in his business, SLM Auto Care. “Performance, style, how they are made…everything.”  

When Konuhov was 9 years old, Sergey and wife, Oksana, a schoolteacher, moved their family to the US where his father went to work as a mechanic on German cars. Konuhov learned English while attending Omaha’s public schools and graduated from Westside High School in 2010. During high school he acquired his first car, a 1993 Audi 90, which was in rough condition until he and his father brought it back to life.   

While majoring in business management at the University of Nebraska at Omaha, Konuhov turned his love for German cars into a business, opening SL Motors with a partner in 2013, a year before he graduated.   

At first, the company used a 10- by 40-foot bay in a building as a workshop where its employees worked on the cars. Then they added a second bay. Even though there were “a few hard years,” the company grew and the mechanics continued to service, repair, and upgrade Audis, Volkswagens, Porsches, and BMWs.      

When Konuhov bought out his partner, he became the sole owner of SLM Auto Care, which is housed in a long, single-story building at 2925 Keystone Dr.  Among his five full-time and two part-time employees are his father, who’s the shop foreman.; his sister, Tanya; and his wife, Natalia, who both work in the office, which is sandwiched between SLM’s service and storage bays. 

 A 2022 sleek, yellow, 7-speed Audi RS3, which Konuhov purchased last November, is sometimes parked outside the building. “That’s more of a home-to-office driver,” he said.  The yellow Audi, a 4WD, has seven modes of driving ranging from everyday cruising that’s fuel-efficient to high performance, which acts like a rear-wheel-drive muscle car. When its traction control is engaged, the car’s electronic brain allows it to slip a little on turns but keeps the car under control.  “If it detects something weird,” Konuhov said, “then it’s definitely going to stop to make sure you don’t crash.” 

Inside one of SLM’s two storage bays are two more of his cars, including a 2007 Porsche 911. Konuhov said it has more than 600 horsepower and calls it “the car that gives you goosebumps.”

But another car in the same storage bay is Konuhov’s favorite—an apple-red Audi S2 coupe which he bought about two years ago after a friend spotted it for sale on social media.

Coincidentally, it was made in 1990, the same year that Konuhov was born. “Audi and Porsche made the RennSport version of this car called the RS2, but it could not be imported into the US,” Konuhov said of the sleek auto which was modified by previous owners. However, he upgraded the four-wheel-drive car further to meet racing standards. “It now has a large turbocharger, larger-than-original intake and exhaust manifolds, and a set of Porsche-made brakes designed for high performance cars,” he said. Konuhov also replaced its regular headlights with RS2 projector lights, which are brighter but aimed down toward the road to avoid blinding oncoming drivers.

Konuhov said he will not race the red Audi nor put it through the same paces as his Porsche or the yellow Audi. They’re not only newer than the red Audi, but handle better on the road and have more safety features.   

Even with the advantages his other cars offer, Konuhov has an attachment to the red Audi.  “I like driving it,” he said.  He takes it to several car events, including an annual fundraiser at Lauritzen Gardens.  “This is a show car.  I don’t care for the competitive shows. I just like to show it. With all-wheel drive, five cylinders, turbo and manual transmission, it’s a recipe for fun.”   

Lauritzen Gardens’ All-European Show and Shine will be held Sept. 10, from noon to 3 p.m.  
Visit for more information.

This article originally appeared in the June/July 2023 issue of B2B Magazine. To receive the magazine, click here to subscribe.  
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