Groups acquire Stellantis, Ford, Volkswagen and Genesis dealerships

groups acquire stellantis ford volkswagen and genesis dealerships

Four dealership groups purchased single stores in first-quarter and second-quarter transactions, one of which involved a lone Genesis store trading hands.

Here’s a look at the deals involving domestic-, import- and luxury-brand dealerships and stores in Illinois, Wyoming, Washington and Florida.

Berman Auto Group of Chicago added its sixth new-vehicle dealership and first Stellantis store in the greater Chicago region, in April buying Mancari’s Chrysler-Dodge-Jeep-Ram in Oak Lawn, Ill.

The family-owned group, which renamed the store Berman Chrysler-Dodge-Jeep-Ram, owns a total of six locations: two standalone Infiniti dealerships, one standalone Nissan store, a Nissan-Infiniti dual under one rooftop, one Subaru dealership and the Stellantis store. They’re all in Illinois except Berman Infiniti of Merrillville, across the state line in Indiana.

The seller was Frank Mancari, who planned to retire, said broker Paul Kechnie, a partner for Performance Brokerage Services Inc., a buy-sell firm in Irvine, Calif. Kechnie said he facilitated the April 11 transaction for both parties.

Berman Auto has been in business since 1987, starting with Berman Nissan of Chicago, according to the group’s website.

The buyer and dealer principal is Michael Berman. His sons, Ross Berman and Todd Berman, are both vice presidents for Berman Auto, Ross Berman said in a phone interview.

Kechnie described the former Mancari’s Chrysler-Dodge-Jeep-Ram as a “highly sought-after brand, in a highly sought-after market.”

Valley Auto Group in March purchased Tyrrell Ford in Laramie, Wyo., according to Jody Henderson, the broker who represented the buyer in the transaction.

Valley Auto of Longmont, Colo., purchased the dealership on March 31 from Brian Tyrrell and renamed it Laramie Range Ford. That brought Valley Auto’s total dealership ownership to 10.

According to Henderson, account manager for buy-sell firm Dealer Solutions Mergers and Acquisitions, the group had been interested in the store since before Tyrrell owned it.

Tyrrell purchased the store a few years ago and Valley Auto “had actually looked at the store when Brian bought it originally and they really liked it and so they made him an offer he couldn’t refuse,” Henderson said.

Henderson said Tyrrell also owns Tyrrell Chevrolet and Tyrrell Honda, both in Cheyenne, Wyo.

Bud Clary Auto Group of Longview, Wash., purchased Auburn Volkswagen in Washington from Matt Welch on June 6, according to Performance Brokerage Services Inc.

The store marks the Bud Clary group’s 13th dealership. It was renamed Bud Clary Auburn Volkswagen.

Bud Clary Auto was established in 1959 and has been family-owned and -operated since.

Mark Shackelford, the managing broker who along with Jason Stopnitzky of Performance Brokerage Services represented Welch in the transaction, said he worked with Welch before and reached out to him after learning that the Bud Clary group was looking to grow. Welch had owned the store since 2006, according to Performance.

“It was actually what we would call in our industry a one-party listing where I talked with Matt and presented the method, we had a buyer that had identified his store as an interest in expanding his organization and we talked through the numbers,” Shackelford said.

Shackelford said Welch agreed to sell amid the favorable buy-sell market conditions and for an opportunity to start a new career.

Welch “felt it was time to take advantage of the current market that we find ourselves in, which has been a really good market, record years in terms of sales and revenue in our industry over the last two and a half years,” Shackelford said.

Last year, Bud Clary Auto bought Ford and Hyundai dealerships in Longview, Wash.

Sutherlin Automotive Group of Buford, Ga., said it completed a rare transaction of a standalone Genesis dealership when it purchased Genesis of Fort Myers in Florida from Morgan Automotive Group on June 1, according to Sutherlin CEO Brett Sutherlin.

Genesis, the luxury arm of Hyundai, became its own brand in 2016. The first standalone Genesis dealership opened in March in Lafayette, La.

Morgan Automotive, which has acquired several dealerships in Florida this year, had Genesis paired with Hyundai in a Fort Myers dealership, according to Sutherlin.

“We feel super strongly about the brand, and that’s why we elected to buy it,” Sutherlin told Automotive News.

Sutherlin said after purchasing the Genesis dealership, which it renamed Fort Myers Genesis, the group moved it to a temporary spot about three miles away. The company broke ground on a new $15 million facility the week of July 4. The new building, located behind the temporary facility, will be next to Sutherlin’s Nissan dealership in Fort Myers, marking its second dealership in the city.

“We’re excited to expand our automotive footprint in an area that we’re proud to do business in,” Sutherlin said in a statement.

The Genesis dealership marks the 11th overall for family-owned Sutherlin Automotive, with locations in Florida and Georgia. In addition to seven Nissan dealerships, the group also owns Sutherlin Mitsubishi in Vero Beach, Fla., and Sutherlin Volkswagen of Lithia Springs and Sutherlin Hyundai Athens, both in Georgia.

Sutherlin said he also expects to close on an acquisition that will expand the company into Tennessee in the next 30 days. He said he also plans to complete a few more deals that will bring the company’s total dealership holdings to 15 or 18 by year’s end.

Sutherlin Automotive of Buford, Ga., ranks No. 108 on Automotive News‘ list of the top 150 dealership groups based in the U.S., retailing 9,261 new vehicles in 2021. Morgan Automotive of Tampa, Fla., ranks No. 8 on that same list, retailing 60,951 new vehicles last year.


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