Toyota, Stellantis, GM dealerships change hands in four acquisitions

Four dealerships — representing General Motors, Stellantis and Toyota brands — were sold in first- and second-quarter deals.

Here’s a look at the deals involving dealerships in Michigan, Texas and New York. One of the deals involved an auto retailer listed on Automotive News‘ list of the top 150 dealership groups.

Serra Automotive, one of the largest private dealership groups in the country, has expanded its Michigan presence with the purchase of a Buick-GMC dealership in suburban Detroit.

Serra on Monday bought Shelton Buick-GMC in Rochester Hills from dealer Russ Shelton. The dealership was renamed Serra Buick-GMC Rochester Hills.

Joe Serra, Serra group president, in a note to employees about the acquisition, noted that Shelton Buick-GMC had been serving customers in the area since 1958. Serra said Kevin Cassidy, executive manager at the nearby Serra Ford Rochester Hills dealership, also will oversee the new store.

The acquisition comes more than a year after Serra Automotive’s last dealership purchase. In February 2021, the group bought Buff Whelan Chevrolet in Sterling Heights, Mich., which then was the highest-volume Chevrolet store in the country.

Serra Automotive has dealerships across Colorado, Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, New Jersey, Ohio and Tennessee.

Serra Automotive of Fenton, Mich., ranks No. 12 on Automotive News‘ list of the top 150 dealership groups based in the U.S., retailing 40,047 new vehicles in 2021.

Canadian dealership group Foundation Automotive Corp., fresh off an acquisition of five Texas rooftops in February, made another purchase in the Lone Star State late last month.

Foundation bought Southfork Chrysler-Dodge-Jeep-Ram in Manvel, Texas, south of Houston, on March 31.

The group bought the dealership from Affinity Dealer Group co-owners Bruce Glascock and Alfred Flores, and Chris Godwin, who was a managing partner in the dealership, according to a Foundation Automotive spokeswoman.

Foundation, which is keeping the dealership’s name, noted that Henry Pimentel, the dealership’s general manager, is staying on with the group as managing partner. Pimentel has an ownership stake in the store, but Foundation didn’t disclose the percentage.

Dick Pryor of Tim Lamb Group, a buy-sell firm in Columbus, Ohio, represented the sellers in the transaction.

Foundation, of Calgary, Alberta, has a U.S. base in Houston.

In February, Foundation bought BMW of Wichita Falls, Patterson Buick-GMC-Cadillac, Patterson Dodge-Chrysler-Jeep-Ram-Fiat, Patterson Hyundai and Patterson Kia, all in Wichita Falls, Texas, from Patterson Auto Group.

Bill Dickason, a veteran dealership manager, acquired his first new-vehicle dealership as dealer principal with the late February purchase of the former McKaig Chevrolet-Buick in Gladewater, Texas, in the eastern part of the state.

Dickason was platform manager for the former Southwest Kia Auto Group, which had five locations in the Austin and Dallas markets, and he had a small, minority stake in one store, Dickason said in a phone interview.

Megadealer Lithia Motors Inc. of Medford, Ore., purchased the Southwest Kia group in June 2021. That group was majority owned by Shahab Salehoun, who died in December 2020, according to his obituary.

As an advertising pitchman for Southwest Kia, Dickason is a familiar face to auto shoppers in the region, known for the tagline: “If we can’t beat a new Kia deal in Texas, we’re just gonna give it to ya!”

Dickason bought the dealership on Feb. 28 from dealer Mark Abernathy, who owned the store since 1995, said broker Paul Kechnie, a partner in Performance Brokerage Services, an Irvine, Calif., dealership buy-sell firm. Kechnie represented the seller in the transaction.

The Chevrolet-Buick store was Abernathy’s only dealership, Kechnie said.

Kechnie said in a seller’s market, Texas has remained particularly hot. He said there were more than 40 inquiries about the McKaig Chevrolet-Buick store when it went up for sale, and multiple offers.

“Right across the nation, we’re getting phone calls to our office from buyers. The states that come up are Florida and Texas,” he said. “Everybody wants to go to those two states. There’s no state income tax, and beautiful weather.”

Williams Auto Group now has its third Toyota dealership after buying a New York state store in February.

Williams Auto, of Elmira, N.Y., purchased Jack Sherman Toyota in Binghamton, N.Y., on Feb. 10, according to Dalton Williams, the group’s vice president.

The group bought the dealership from Michael Corey, James Corey, Marci Goodwin and Rob Christian, Williams told Automotive News in an email.

The store was renamed Williams Toyota of Binghamton. Binghamton is in south central New York, near the Pennsylvania border.

Williams Auto now has seven dealerships across New York and Pennsylvania.

Peter DiPersia from buy-sell firm National Business Brokers, of Irvine, Calif., handled the transaction, Williams said.

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