Victory Automotive Group and Fletcher Jones Automotive Group among buyers


Victory Automotive, of Canton, Mich., on April 17 bought Tim Castellaw Toyota of Dyersburg-Tim Castellaw Ford and Tim Castellaw Chrysler-Dodge-Jeep-Ram.

Two of the largest dealership groups in the country expanded with first- and second-quarter acquisitions, while a business that is part of a company best known for owning the Minnesota Twins franchise in Major League Baseball also made a first-quarter purchase.

Here’s a look at the deals involving import and domestic stores and dealerships in Tennessee, North Carolina, California and Wisconsin.

Three transactions involved a dealership ranked on Automotive Newslist of the top 150 dealership groups.

Victory Automotive expands in Tenn., sells N.C. store

Victory Automotive Group made its first acquisition of 2023 with the purchase of two dealerships representing six brands last month.

Victory Automotive, of Canton, Mich., on April 17 bought Tim Castellaw Toyota of Dyersburg-Tim Castellaw Ford and Tim Castellaw Chrysler-Dodge-Jeep-Ram from Tim Castellaw, Rodger Olson, Victory Automotive’s COO, confirmed to Automotive News in an email.

Dyersburg is in western Tennessee, near the Missouri and Arkansas borders.

The dealerships were renamed Victory Toyota-Ford Dyersburg and Victory Chrysler-Dodge-Jeep-Ram Dyersburg.

Katie Naughton and Eric Levitt of Dealer Solutions Mergers and Acquisitions, a buy-sell firm with a U.S. head office in Naples, Fla., represented Castellaw in the transaction.

The April transaction marks Victory Automotive’s first acquisition since it bought a General Motors dealership, also in Tennessee, in December, Olson confirmed.

Victory Automotive also sold a dealership in the first quarter.

The group on Feb. 20 sold Victory Chrysler-Dodge-Jeep-Ram in Shallotte, N.C., to Brian Schrimpsher, Olson said.

The dealership name appears the same, according to its website. Shallotte is in southeastern North Carolina, near the South Carolina border.

The February sale marks Victory Automotive’s first divestiture since it sold two California Ford dealerships in August, Olson confirmed.

Victory Automotive ranks No. 19 on Automotive News‘ most recent list of the top 150 dealership groups based in the U.S., retailing 28,535 new vehicles in 2022.

Fletcher Jones buys L.A.-area Toyota store

Fletcher Jones Automotive Group has purchased a Los Angeles-area Toyota dealership — Carson Toyota, the 16th new-car store in the Las Vegas company’s portfolio.

The store was renamed Fletcher Jones Toyota of Carson, according to DCG Acquisitions, a Dave Cantin Group company, which brokered the Feb. 27 deal for the buyer and sellers. George Pero, DCG Acquisitions’ national vice president of sales, was the broker.

“The multiples on dealerships have been very nice the last couple years,” Dan Pennington, a former co-owner, along with the Skinner family, told Automotive News. “It encouraged us to make the choice” to sell the store, he said.

Carson Toyota had been a family-run operation since Don Pennington — Dan’s late father — and partner Bert Skinner purchased it in 1974. Dan subsequently entered the family business, and after Skinner died in 2021, Dan decided it was a good time to cash out.

Dan Pennington, 65, said he’s going to take some time to decide what to do next.

“I’ve taken the last couple of months to reintroduce myself to my wife,” he said. “I’m enjoying that, but I’m not sure yet whether I’ll become fully retired.”

DCG Acquisitions CEO Dave Cantin, in an email, confirmed that the buy-sell market “is scorching. Even with interest rates three times higher than last year, buyers are still aggressively seeking opportunities.”

Fletcher Jones has been retailing vehicles since 1946, when founder Fletcher Jones Sr. opened his first store, a used-vehicle lot, in downtown Los Angeles.

In December, the group bought Circle Audi and Circle Porsche, in Long Beach, Calif. Today, the company operates dealerships in California, Nevada, Illinois and Hawaii.

Fletcher Jones ranks No. 42 on Automotive News‘ list of the top 150 U.S.-based dealership groups based in the U.S., retailing 18,876 new vehicles in 2022.

Related Article

Carousel Motor expands into Wisconsin

Carousel Motor Group of Minneapolis in January bought its ninth new-car dealership, Hudson Ford, in Hudson, Wis.

Hudson Ford, which keeps its name, is the group’s first Ford store, its first dealership in Wisconsin and its first dealership outside Minnesota — just over the state line, on the eastern edge of the Greater Minneapolis metro area.

Carousel Motor is part of the Pohlad Cos., a privately held, diverse group of more than 20 companies founded in the 1950s by the late Carl Pohlad. The company is best known for owning the Minnesota Twins franchise in Major League Baseball, which it purchased in 1984. The family got into auto retailing in 2008 when they bought a BMW dealership.

The selling Ford dealer in the Jan. 3 transaction was Mark Swelland, CEO of Hudson Ford. His business partners were Gary Embretson, COO, and Jonathan Nissly, general manager, according to a Carousel Motor statement.

The transaction also included an ABRA full-service collision center and an on-site detailing center, Carousel Motor said.

Carl Pohlad died in 2009 and the Pohlad Cos. now are managed by his sons Jim, Bob and Bill Pohlad, according to its website.

Bob Pohlad’s responsibilities include the Carousel dealerships. Chase Hawkins is CEO of Carousel Motor and senior vice president of retail operations for Pohlad Cos.

Other Pohlad Cos. subsidiaries include commercial real estate developer United Properties, a large real estate investment and development company in the Midwest; commercial real estate financier NorthMarq; and PAR Systems, which makes automation technology.

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