Two auto retailers in top 150 dealership groups, including publicly traded Sonic Automotive, completed Q2 transactions, while a pair of growing regional groups also expanded.

Lou Fusz Mazda Evansville-Volvo Cars Evansville

Lou Fusz Mazda Evansville-Volvo Cars Evansville in Indiana.

A publicly traded auto retailer sold a dealership in Texas in April, while three other regional groups made first- and second-quarter acquisitions.

Here’s a look at the deals involving luxury, domestic and import stores in Texas, Indiana, Wisconsin and Colorado.

Two transactions involved an auto retailer ranked on Automotive Newslist of the top 150 dealership groups.

Sonic sells Maserati-Alfa Romeo store

Chip Johnson and Brady Bishop, partners in a dealership near Kansas City, Mo., bought a Maserati-Alfa Romeo store from Sonic Automotive Inc. last month.

On April 3, Johnson and Bishop bought Momentum Maserati-Alfa Romeo in Hurst, Texas, northeast of Fort Worth, Johnson told Automotive News.

The dealership was renamed Bishop Maserati-Alfa Romeo of Hurst.

“These are some higher-margin brands,” Johnson told Automotive News. “They had a solid used-car business.”

Bill Scrivner, CEO of Pinnacle Mergers & Acquisitions, of Frisco, Texas, along with Wes Hamilton, executive vice president of the buy-sell firm, represented Sonic in the transaction.

Johnson is president of Wood Motor Co. in Fayetteville, Ark. He said he and Bishop are partners in a Nissan store in Lee’s Summit, Mo., southeast of Kansas City, which Wood Motor bought in August 2021. Wood Motor bought two Missouri dealerships in December 2021.

Sonic ranks No. 6 on Automotive News‘ list of the top 150 dealership groups based in the U.S., with sales of 101,168 new vehicles in 2022.

Indiana expansion for Lou Fusz Automotive

Lou Fusz Automotive Network of St. Louis expanded its presence in southern Indiana with its latest dealership purchase.

On May 2, Lou Fusz Automotive bought Magna Motors Evansville Mazda-Volvo in Indiana from Mike Abdalla of Magna Motors, CEO Randy Fusz confirmed to Automotive News.

The dealership was renamed Lou Fusz Mazda Evansville-Volvo Cars Evansville. Evansville is in southern Indiana near the Kentucky border.

This marks the first Volvo dealership for the group and second Mazda store, Randy Fusz said.

The Mazda-Volvo dealership is on the same street as Lou Fusz’s Kia store that it bought in August. That close proximity played a role in the Mazda-Volvo dealership acquisition, he said.

Lou Fusz Automotive also bought a Ford dealership in 2022 in Illinois.

Lou Fusz Automotive Network ranks No. 108 on Automotive News‘ list of the top 150 dealership groups based in the U.S., retailing 8,176 new vehicles in 2022.

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Growth for Kohli in Wisconsin

Chicago dealer Shawn Kohli expanded last month with the purchase of three Wisconsin dealerships.

Kohli said he bought Jim Olson Chevrolet-Buick, Jim Olson Chrysler-Dodge-Jeep-Ram and Jim Olson Ford, all in Sturgeon Bay, Wis., on April 17 from dealer Jim Olson.

The dealerships were renamed Patriot Chevrolet-Buick Sturgeon Bay, Patriot Chrysler-Dodge-Jeep-Ram Sturgeon Bay and Patriot Ford Sturgeon Bay, Kohli said.

Sturgeon Bay is northeast of Green Bay in Wisconsin.

Jake Belcher, Kohli’s operating partner for the Sturgeon Bay stores, has an undisclosed minority stake in the three dealerships, Kohli said.

The opportunity to be in Door County, a popular vacation area in Wisconsin, and to acquire the only franchised dealerships in Sturgeon Bay led him to the acquisition, Kohli said.

A co-owner of City Auto Group in Chicago, Kohli said the Wisconsin stores are separate from that group. The Sturgeon Bay purchase marks Kohli’s first acquisition since he bought a Lincoln dealership in Iowa in January, also on his own.

Webb Automotive expands into Colorado

Webb Automotive Group was a logical buyer for the former Steve Keetch Motors Inc., a Chevrolet-Buick store in Cortez, Colo., said Perry Max Webb II, dealer operator and vice president of family-owned Webb Automotive in Farmington, N.M.

“The seller is an old friend of ours and when he was ready to sell, we were happy to jump in,” he wrote in an email to Automotive News.

Selling dealer Steve Keetch said the dealership was his only store, and that he retired following the Feb. 6 sale.

In a phone interview, Keetch said he had been in the car business since 1972 and was a dealer for 40 years. “It was time,” he said.

The dealership, Webb Automotive’s first in Colorado, briefly was renamed Webb Chevrolet-Buick of Cortez.

Webb II said the day after the transaction closed, Buick made an offer to buy back the franchise, “and we took it.”

Across the country, Buick is buying back franchises from dealers who don’t want to make the required investment to prepare their stores for electric vehicles.

The Colorado dealership has continued to sell new Buicks, but only while inventory lasts. As of Friday, it was down to just two new Buicks, Webb II said. The store will operate as Webb Chevrolet of Cortez.

Webb II is its dealer principal. He said Webb Automotive owns another Chevrolet dealership, Webb Chevrolet in Farmington.

Perry Webb, president of Webb Automotive, is majority owner of the group and Webb II’s father. Webb II said he and Grant Allred, vice president, each own minority shares in the group.

Webb Automotive’s third dealership is Webb Toyota in Farmington.

Buying the dealership in Cortez was convenient for the group since it’s just over an hour’s drive from Webb Automotive’s base in Farmington. The region is known as the “Four Corners,” where New Mexico, Colorado, Arizona and Utah meet.

“The market is close to our headquarters and easy for us to get to,” said Webb II, a 2019 Automotive News 40 Under 40 honoree. “The market of the new store also has a lot of potential. The area is growing and we are very excited.”

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