Four dealerships sold in Mo., Pa., Ariz., and Ohio


Jim Butler Auto Group, Faulkner Automotive Group, Horne Auto Group and Coughlin Automotive Group each expanded their dealership portfolios with acquisitions in either late in the fourth quarter of 2021 or early in January 2022.

Here’s a look at the deals involving domestic-, import- and luxury-brand dealerships.

Missouri growth

Jim Butler Auto Group expanded its reach in Missouri with the acquisition of a Ford-Chrysler-Dodge-Jeep-Ram dealership.

Jim Butler Auto, through a subsidiary, bought Auffenberg Motor Co. of Mexico, Mo., on Thursday from Chris Auffenberg.

It marks the first Ford and second Chrysler-Dodge-Jeep-Ram dealership for Jim Butler Auto of Fenton, Mo., a St. Louis suburb.

Jim Butler Auto is not keeping the dealership in its existing location, however.

The group moved the franchises into a single temporary facility next to Jim Butler Centralia Chevrolet in Centralia, Mo., around a 20-minute drive west of Mexico.

Jim Butler Auto President Brad Sowers said the group acquired that Chevrolet dealership in February and bought 12 acres surrounding the store.

The group plans to invest about $3 million to build a Ford dealership, a Chrysler-Dodge-Jeep-Ram dealership and an expanded service facility on that land. The dealerships will be named Jim Butler Centralia Ford and Jim Butler Centralia Chrysler-Dodge-Jeep-Ram.

The group is aiming to complete the construction project in 2024.

Don Day, a co-owner of subsidiary Linn Powerhouse Holdings, which bought the Ford-Chrysler-Dodge-Jeep-Ram store, also has an ownership stake in other stores. Those include Jim Butler Centralia Chevrolet, Jim Butler Chevrolet Linn and Jim Butler Chrysler-Dodge-Jeep-Ram Linn, both in Linn, Mo., Sowers said.

“We’ve been very successful with CDJR in the Linn location and we wanted to expand our presence with Stellantis,” Sowers told Automotive News. “We enjoy the relationship and it’s been very successful for us. We do not have a Ford franchise, so it’s the first opportunity for us to expand there.”

In addition to the two upcoming dealerships, Jim Butler Auto has seven other rooftops, plus a used-only dealership, all in Missouri.

Sowers, a past co-chair of the Chevrolet Dealer Council, currently is a member of Maserati’s dealer council board and president of the St. Louis Auto Dealers Association, he said.

Sowers is one of the 47 dealers nominated for the 2022 Time Dealer of the Year award.

Faulkner Automotive adds two stores in Pa.

Faulkner Automotive Group last month added its first Mercedes-Benz dealership and second Honda store in an acquisition in Doylestown, Pa.

The Trevose, Pa., group on Dec. 15 bought Keenan Honda and Keenan Motors, a Mercedes-Benz dealership, and a collision center from the estate of the late dealer Jim Peruto, said Harry Faulkner, president of Faulkner Automotive.

Peruto, a Guinness World Record holder for reaching the highest speed on a public highway, died Sept. 29 at age 68, according to an obituary in The Philadelphia Inquirer.

“We had reached an agreement of sale prior to Jim’s passing,” Harry Faulkner told Automotive News.

Faulkner said Peruto was close to the Faulkner family for years and the parties began talking about a sale in summer 2021.

“His company was a tight-knit, family-run company and he wanted to see another family-run company take it over and continue his legacy and take care of his people and also continue to serve the community that he was such a big part of,” Faulkner said.

The dealerships were renamed Faulkner Honda of Doylestown and Mercedes-Benz of Doylestown. Doylestown is about a half-hour’s drive from Trevose.

The Faulkner group now has 30 dealerships.

“They are well run stores beforehand and we just hope to continue to grow [them],” Faulkner said of the new dealerships.

Arizona acquisition

Horne Auto Group acquired its second Nissan dealership when it purchased Sonora Nissan in Yuma, Ariz., at the end of 2021.

Horne Auto bought the dealership on Dec. 30 from Theodore Hook and Jan Bretschneider, according to Brian Evans, a principal with Ozog Consulting Group.

Evans, along with Joe Ozog, represented the sellers in the transaction. Sonora Nissan was the sellers’ sole dealership, Evans said.

Horne Auto, based in Gilbert, Ariz., renamed the dealership Horne Nissan Yuma.

Horne Auto has rooftops across Arizona, according to its website.

Coughlin adds Ford dealership in Ohio

Coughlin Automotive Group continued its central Ohio expansion last month with the purchase of Mathews Ford Newark from Tim Mathews and Bob Mathews of Mathews Auto Group.

The Dec. 30 acquisition marks the group’s third Ford dealership. It was renamed Coughlin Ford of Heath and is co-owned by brothers Al Coughlin and Mike Coughlin. The store is Coughlin Automotive’s 14th franchised dealership, according to the group’s website.

The dealership in 2015 completed a $2 million expansion, according to an article in the Newark Advocate, growing the store’s showroom and service department.

All of Mathews’ 100 employees were offered opportunities to stay with the dealership under the new ownership, said Tim Lamb, president of buy-sell advisory firm Tim Lamb Group of Columbus, Ohio. The firm represented the seller in the transaction.

Last year, the Ford store sold 646 new vehicles and 1,890 used vehicles, Lamb said.

Coughlin Automotive, of Pataskala, Ohio, also bought a Kia dealership in October in Lancaster, Ohio.

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