Three dealership groups, former general manager buy dealerships in December

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Three groups and a former dealership general manager bought dealerships in four December transactions that span from Alaska to Florida.

Two transactions involved a group on Automotive News’ top 150 dealership groups list. Here’s a look at the transactions involving domestic- and import-brand stores.

Swickard Auto Group on Dec. 15 acquired two General Motors dealerships in Alaska, bolstering the group’s presence in the Last Frontier state.

Swickard Auto bought Alaska Sales & Service-Anchorage, a Chevrolet-Buick-GMC-Cadillac dealership in Anchorage, and Alaska Sales & Service-Valley, a Buick-GMC dealership in Palmer, both from Diana Pfeiffer and Shaun Pfeiffer. That’s according to Kerrigan Advisors, a sell-side firm in Irvine, Calif., that represented the Pfeiffers in the sale.

Swickard also owns Mercedes-Benz of Anchorage, located nearby the two newly acquired stores. Anchorage, Alaska’s most populous city, is around 40 miles southwest of Palmer.

According to the National Automobile Dealers Association, there are just 27 new-vehicle dealerships in Alaska.

The acquisition is the latest transaction for Swickard in 2021.

In June, the group bought a Volvo dealership in Houston from Sonic Automotive Inc. Swickard also bought a Toyota store in Edmonds, Wash., that month. In March, Swickard sold a Mercedes-Benz dealership in Atlanta to Jim Ellis Automotive Group.

Swickard Auto also has dealerships in California, Oregon and Washington, according to its website.

Swickard ranks No. 91 on Automotive News‘ list of the top 150 dealership groups based in the U.S., with retail sales of 10,035 new vehicles in 2020.

After spending the past 10 years as a dealership general manager, Vikas Mehandroo has purchased his first dealership: a Ford store in Poway, Calif., north of San Diego.

Mehandroo on Dec. 6 bought Perry Ford of Poway from Perry Automotive Group. The store was renamed Aaron Ford of Poway, after Mehandroo’s son.

The Perry Automotive Group had owned the dealership since 1996, according to Performance Brokerage Services, a buy-sell firm in Irvine, Calif., that handled the transaction.

The Perry group, owned by Perry Falk and Deborah Falk, operate several other dealerships in Southern California.

Mehandroo said he came to the U.S. from India in his 20s.

“I’ve been in the business for 20-plus years and in February of this year, I decided I wanted to be a dealer principal,” he told Automotive News, adding that he was looking for a domestic-brand store.

He said the Ford dealership in Poway was attractive because it is a “newer facility” and “in a good community.”

Mehandroo already has expansion plans. He said he is slated to buy a Stellantis dealership in January.

Key Auto Group of Portsmouth, N.H., on Dec. 13 expanded in Florida by buying Thomas Chevrolet-Buick in Perry, southeast of Tallahassee.

Anthony DiLorenzo and Key Auto bought the Chevrolet-Buick store from Lewis Thomas, according to Performance Brokerage Services, which handled the transaction.

The store was renamed Key Chevrolet-Buick of Perry, according to Performance Brokerage Services.

A posting on the Thomas Chevrolet-Buick Facebook page thanked customers and vendors for its nearly 50 years in business.

Key Auto has an Acura dealership in Gainesville, Fla., according to its website.

Key Auto Group also has dealerships in New Hampshire, Vermont and Maine, and has been active in dealership buy-sells this year. In April, the group bought a Chrysler-Dodge-Jeep-Ram store in Maine and a Chevrolet-Buick-GMC dealership in New Hampshire, while in May it sold a Nissan dealership in New Hampshire.

Gerald Auto Group, a Chicago-area auto retailer, this month acquired its second Honda dealership and 11th dealership overall.

The group on Dec. 6 purchased Continental Honda in the Chicago suburb of Countryside, Ill., from Continental Motors Group. The dealership was renamed Gerald Honda of Countryside.

“Honda is a great brand that has a reputation for having a strong relationship with its dealer body and that’s attractive to me,” Gerald Auto Group President Doug Gerald told Automotive News. “And it’s a great brand for Chicago.”

The North Aurora, Ill., group’s other Honda dealership is located in Matteson, also near Chicago.

Continental Motors, of Hodgkins, Ill., ranks No. 147 on Automotive Newslist of the top 150 dealership groups based in the U.S., with retail sales of 4,981 new vehicles in 2020.

Kerrigan Advisors represented Continental Motors Group in the sale, its third time representing the group on a dealership sale since 2019.

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