Stellantis and Ford dealers sell in 4 states

Dealers who bought their first and second stores, along with some growing clusters, were among the buyers in the four single dealer deals that closed in the first and second quarters.

Here’s a look at deals involving domestic dealers in Georgia, California, Kentucky and North Carolina.

Britain Auto buys Ford dealers
Britain Auto Group on June 7 bought Casey Jackson Ford in Royston, Ga., from Casey Jackson, according to dealer broker Michael Lacey, managing director of DCG Acquisitions, a Dave Cantin Group company.

James Baldridge, Managing Partner of Britain Auto, told Automotive News which was formed by Britain Auto Group following the acquisition of a Ford dealership and also includes Britain Chevrolet in Greenville, Texas. The other group owners are Byron and Misty Britain, Baldridge said.

Lacey, who represented the buyer in the transaction, said Britain Auto bought the Georgia store, which was named Lake Hartwell Ford, because Britain had family ties to the region.

“They want to expand, and they want a Ford store, and they love Georgia,” Lacey said.

He said Jackson chose to sell to take advantage of favorable market conditions.

Baldridge said the group had tentative plans to move the store from Royston to nearby Hartwell, Ga. Both cities are northeast of Athens, Ga.

“Our plan is to move the shop, [but] that time frame is undetermined,” Baldridge said.

New dealer owner buys second shop

Four months after becoming a first-time dealership owner, Vikas Mehandroo on April 28 purchased his second store, Browning Dodge-Chrysler-Jeep-Ram in Norco, California, from Browning Automotive Group.

Mehandroo renamed the store Aaron Chrysler-Dodge-Jeep-Ram. Norco is east of Los Angeles.

Browning Automotive is a multigenerational family-owned business based in southeastern Los Angeles in Cerritos, California.

The Norco store does not fit into Browning’s future plans, although the group intends to retain another store in Southern California, according to Brady Schmidt, CEO of National Business Brokers in Irvine, California, who, along with director Gary Mull, handled the transaction.

Browning has owned the store since 2012, according to the group’s website.

Mehandroo bought Perry Ford from Poway in California, now Aaron Ford from Poway, from Perry Automotive Group on December 6. Both dealers were renamed in honor of Mehandroo’s son.

Mehandroo says Automotive News that he came to the US more than two decades ago and worked at Subway, where he became “the best sandwich artist of my time,” before turning to the auto retail business.

He said that after doing every job on the sales side of a dealership, he wanted to run his own shop. Although she has no direct acquisitions in the job, she says she hopes to expand more and encourage others to pursue their dreams as she does.

“If anyone wants to do it, it can be done,” Mehandroo said. “I am the perfect example of what you call the American Dream, am I not?

“I came here 24 years ago from India and worked on Subway for a year and a half, making sandwiches. Someone told me to sell cars, so I gave it a try. You just have to have the will.”

Withers bought the first dealer
Marcus Withers, a commercial property investor and owner of a used-vehicle dealership, in February acquired his first new-vehicle dealer, the Chrysler-Dodge-Jeep-Ram from Lawrenceburg in Kentucky.

Withers already has three used car dealerships and has several years of experience working at his father-in-law’s new car operation, Pittman Enterprises in Louisville, Ky.

He bought the Lawrenceburg store February 25 from Ron McCauley. It was the only McCauley dealer, Withers said in a telephone interview.

Withers has its own Stellantis store, as part of Withers Automotive in Louisville.

“It’s tough getting into the dealership business,” Withers said. “But this shop became available. It was an underperforming store, and I took the opportunity.”

Lawrenceburg is just south of the state capital of Kentucky, Frankfort.

Louisville First Business reported Withers paying about $8 million to the dealer. Withers said Live Oak Bank in Wilmington, NC, was instrumental in securing Small Business Administration financing for him to enable the deal.

Withers used car dealerships are located in Paducah and Bowling Green, Ky., and Tullahoma, Tenn., which Louisville First Business said it operates under the National Car Discounters brand. Withers said he’s rebranding the stores as NextGen Motors.

At Pittman Enterprises, Withers worked at various dealerships in a variety of roles, including sales force and finance manager. Pittman Enterprises has five dealerships, in Georgia and South Carolina.

Withers’ father-in-law is Winston Pittman Sr., the group’s founder and CEO. Withers has also worked in the Pittman organization’s commercial and residential real estate development business.

“He’s a GOAT,” Withers said of Pittman, which means “greatest of all time.” Withers’ wife, Misty Withers, works for Pittman Enterprises, he said.

Greer and Murchison added a Stellantis shop
Elliot Greer and Matt Murchison of Open Roads Inc. in Greenville, NC, on June 22 purchased a Ross Chrysler-Jeep-Dodge-Ram in Boone, NC, from Randy Ross of Ross Automotive.

The partners changed the store’s name to Boone Chrysler-Dodge-Jeep-Ram.

Greer, president of Open Roads and principal dealer of the Stellantis and Greenville Nissan stores, is also a partner at two Nissan dealerships in Virginia. Murchison is the company’s vice president and operations partner.

The duo thought Boone, home to Appalachian State University and northwest Charlotte, NC, would provide a great location and fit with their other businesses.

“Boone has a solid reputation and strong business-to-business relationships with a strong emphasis on serving a commercial customer base,” Murchison said in an email to Automotive News. “We hope to add a few more dealers this year to complete our portfolio.”

Greer said the first month of business went well at the Stellantis store.

“The staff is solid,” Greer said. “We are very happy with the staff and do not plan to make any changes.”

Ross sold his only dealership, Greer said. Ross said he is a partner and president of RoadVantage, a financial products and insurance company, and will continue in that position.

Joe Ozog, president of Ozog Consulting Group, a trading firm in Scottsdale, Arizona, handled the transaction.

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