Morrie’s Auto Group adds Chevy and Stellantis dealerships

Growing Morrie’s Auto Group, which entered a new state late last year, made its first acquisition of 2022 and bolstered its Minneapolis presence with the purchase of a trio of domestic dealerships this month.

Morrie’s Auto on July 1 bought Forest Lake Chevrolet and Forest Lake Chrysler-Dodge-Jeep & Ram in Minnesota from dealer Randy Wilcox of Forest Lake Auto Group.

The Stellantis dealership has a separate facility for the Jeep franchise, which recently was built, but Morrie’s considers it one dealership. The stores were renamed Morrie’s Forest Lake Chevrolet and Morrie’s Forest Lake Chrysler-Dodge-Jeep-Ram.

Morrie’s Auto CEO Lance Iserman said the group was aggressive in trying to acquire the stores, which lie in the group’s backyard.

Forest Lake is northeast of Minneapolis. Morrie’s is based in Minnetonka, Minn., just west of Minneapolis.

“You don’t get these opportunities to buy two really high-performing stores and in the metro where the bulk of our stores are,” Iserman told Automotive News. “This gives us 14 stores now in the Minneapolis-St. Paul metro area and two brands that we didn’t have in this area.”

Haig Partners, a buy-sell firm in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., represented Wilcox in the transaction.

Morrie’s has grown by 14 dealerships since 2016, including by adding two open-point dealerships. The Forest Lake purchase is Morrie’s first since it bought two Michigan Ford dealerships in December.

Iserman said Morrie’s doesn’t have any other acquisitions under contract, but it is looking at several deals.

“If we could get one more under contract, one [dealership] or a group of stores under contract by the end of the year, that’d be great,” he said. “That would be something that we would try to get done.”

Iserman said the group remains focused on growing in the Upper Midwest.

“That’s the area that we like to focus in,” he said. “We have obviously core markets in Minneapolis, western Wisconsin and now central Michigan. So if we can build out those areas, we like that. We’re definitely open to more acquisitions.”

Morrie’s ranks No. 92 on Automotive Newslist of the top 150 dealership groups based in the U.S., retailing 10,858 new vehicles in 2021.


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