Growing Morgan Automotive Group was among the buyers in first- and second-quarter acquisitions that expanded four dealership groups across four states.
Here’s a look at the deals involving import and domestic dealerships in Louisiana, Florida, Pennsylvania and Colorado. One transaction involved a group ranked on Automotive News’ list of the top 150 dealership groups.
Community Auto adds two Honda dealerships
Community Auto Group, of Baytown, Texas, last month added two Honda dealerships to its portfolio when it purchased them from Holmes Auto Family, of Shreveport, La.
Community Auto, owned Roger Elswick, on June 6 bought Holmes Honda in Shreveport and Holmes Honda Bossier City, both in Louisiana. The dealership names remain, Elswick said.
The purchase moves Community’s footprint from southern Texas and Lafayette, La., into the northwest part of Louisiana. Bossier City is in the Shreveport metro area.
“They were very well-performing stores,” Elswick told Automotive News. “I’m very bullish on the Honda brand. This makes my third and fourth Honda store.”
Elswick, also a National Automobile Dealers Association board member for southern Texas, said that in addition to Honda stores in Baytown and Lafayette, he has Toyota and Kia dealerships, plus a used-vehicle store.
Kerrigan Advisors, a sell-side firm in Incline Village, Nev., represented the seller in the transaction.
The firm also advised Holmes Auto on the sale of three other Shreveport dealerships this month to Group 1 Automotive Inc.
The Holmes dealership group was launched in 1937 by Claude Holmes with a Pontiac dealership in Louisiana. Claude Holmes was Holmes Auto Family owner Charlton Holmes’ great-grandfather.
“After 85 years of Holmes serving the Shreveport community, the time was right to transition our business to new owners,” Charlton Holmes said in a statement.
Morgan Automotive adds Ford dealership
Morgan Automotive Group in June continued its expansion in Florida, buying Ford of Clermont from Charles Tomm and Jason Burhyte, the company’s CEO said.
Morgan is retaining the dealership’s name.
It marks the second dealership acquisition in Clermont, west of Orlando, for the nation’s eighth largest new-vehicle retailer. In May, Morgan Automotive bought Fuccillo Kia of Clermont plus two domestic-branded dealerships in Tampa, Fla.
“We know Clermont to be a growing suburb of Orlando and we are bullish on the future of Ford,” Morgan Automotive CEO Brett Morgan said in an email to Automotive News. “We have the Kia store in Clermont, which certainly helps create some synergy and we’d like to grow beyond our current hold in Orlando (Central Florida CDJR).”
On June 1, Morgan sold its Genesis of Fort Myers dealership to Sutherlin Automotive Group.
Morgan Automotive, of Tampa, ranks No. 8 on Automotive News’ list of the top 150 dealership groups based in the U.S., retailing 60,951 new vehicles last year.
Pennsylvania auto group expands holdings
Dean Auto Group, of Pittsburgh, purchased Coy Price’s Lakeland Chrysler-Jeep-Dodge-Ram in Greenville, Pa., from Price on April 12, according to Dean Auto co-owner Andrew Sherman.
The dealership was renamed Chrysler-Dodge-Jeep-Ram of Greenville. Greenville is north of Pittsburgh.
Dean Auto is a third-generation business owned by the Sherman family.
Andrew Sherman’s father, Steven Sherman, heads the company started by his father, Wayne Sherman, more than 50 years ago. Steven Sherman is dealer principal of the family’s stores, while Andrew and his three brothers help run day-to-day operations, Andrew Sherman said.
The Greenville purchase adds a third franchised dealership to the family’s holdings that also include Dean Honda in Pittsburgh, Lake View Ford in Conneaut Lake, Pa., and a used-vehicle store in West Mifflin, Pa. The Ford and Stellantis brand stores are about 20 minutes apart, Andrew Sherman said.
“We want to make a commitment to Greenville,” Steve Sherman told Greenville’s Record-Argus newspaper. “And we want to give value and give our customers a great experience.”
The family plans to invest millions into the dealership by adding a drive-in for service and more loaner vehicles.
“There’s still a little waiting time until we can start digging,” Andrew Sherman told Automotive News.
Red Rock Auto Group adds two dealerships in Colorado
Red Rock Auto Group, of Grand Junction, Colo., added two dealerships in the city when it purchased Fuoco GMC and Fuoco Honda dealerships on March 7, according to Red Rock Auto President Steve Dahle.
Brothers Tony and Taylor Fuoco of Fuoco Motor Co. sold the stores, Dahle said. The dealerships were renamed Red Rock GMC and Red Rock Honda. Grand Junction is west of Denver, near the Utah border.
Standalone GMC dealerships are rare, with just 50 counted nationally as of Jan. 1, according to the Automotive News’ annual dealership census.
The Fuoco brothers also sold Red Rock its first dealership, Red Rock Nissan, in October 2016, Dahle said.
That sale marked Red Rock’s debut in Colorado. Red Rock is a sister company to Tim Dahle Auto Group, of Murray, Utah. That company, then under a different name, was started in the late 1960s by Steve Dahle’s grandfather. Tim Dahle, Steve’s father, now runs that group, which has seven new-vehicle dealerships in Utah.
Steve Dahle said he, his younger brother Marcus Dahle and his brother-in-law Vic Ream partnered to start Red Rock.
“We wanted a chance at our own store,” Steve Dahle said. “It’s just us kids.”
Red Rock added a Hyundai dealership in 2018 and a Kia dealership in 2020, both in Grand Junction. The Nissan, GMC and Honda dealerships are all within the same block, Dahle said.
Dahle said Grand Junction provides a great market and setting.
“It’s a good-sized city, and it’s growing,” Dahle said. “It’s got a lot of fun activities.
“People want to be there. People are very happy there. We’ve really enjoyed it and look to continue to grow out there.”
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