Hertrich Infiniti of NewarkMAIN

Mitsubishi, Ford, Nissan and Infiniti dealerships trade hands in Q3, Q4 deals

Three dealership groups expanded their portfolios with acquisitions, while a former used-vehicle store owner bought his first franchised new-vehicle dealership in deals that closed in the third and fourth quarters.

Here’s a look at the deals involving import, domestic and luxury stores and dealerships in North Carolina, Georgia, Delaware and Texas. One transaction involved an auto retailer ranked on Automotive Newstop 150 dealership groups list.

Brian Vonderheide is a first-time new-car dealership owner. He’s now dealer principal of Mountain Mitsubishi, formerly Planet Mitsubishi Hickory, in Hickory, N.C., in the western part of the state, after buying the store Sept. 20.

Vonderheide comes with years of experience managing franchised dealerships, primarily in northern Mississippi, for Cannon Motor Co. Most recently, he owned a used-vehicle store that specialized in luxury brands, The Collection of Tupelo in Mississippi, which he sold before taking over the Mitsubishi dealership.

Vonderheide, in a phone interview, said owning and operating the used-car store was a “stepping stone” toward getting his own new-car store.

He said he chose to pursue a Mitsubishi dealership because he sees it as an up-and-coming brand and that makes Mitsubishi more interested than other brands in good dealer relationships.

“Mitsubishi is the only manufacturer I sought out. I looked specifically for a Mitsubishi dealership because I wanted something that would have a better relationship with the manufacturer,” he said. “I’m growing. This is my first dealership. I’m going to have to grow with it. And Mitsubishi, I believe, is in a growth strategy.”

The selling dealer was Helmi Felfel, president of Planet Automotive Group in the Charlotte, N.C. area. The Planet group has another Mitsubishi store, also called Planet Mitsubishi, and a Planet Kia dealership, both in Charlotte.

DCG Acquisitions, a Dave Cantin Group company, worked with both parties to facilitate the Mitsubishi dealership transaction. Robert Turbyfill and Michael Lacey, both managing directors of DCG Acquisitions, worked on the deal.

Troncalli Automotive Group expanded its dealership portfolio to six locations with the purchase of its first Ford store.

Troncalli Automotive, of Cumming, Ga., on Oct. 27 bought Jefferson Ford in Georgia from Jimmy Bailey. Jefferson is northeast of Atlanta.

The group is keeping the dealership’s name, according to Ryan Troncalli, the auto retailer’s president.

It marked Troncalli Automotive’s first acquisition since it bought a Volkswagen dealership in Warner Robins, Ga., in September 2021, Troncalli said.

Besides the Ford and Volkswagen stores, Troncalli Automotive also has one Chevrolet dealership, a Chrysler-Dodge-Jeep-Ram store and two Subaru outlets, all in Georgia, Troncalli said.

Andy Gill, CEO of Gill Automotive Group, a sell-side firm in St. Augustine, Fla., represented Bailey in the Ford transaction.

Hertrich Family of Automobile Dealerships of Seaford, Del., bolstered its footprint in the Blue Hen State with the fourth-quarter acquisition of two dealerships.

Hertrich on Nov. 1 bought Porter Nissan and Porter Infiniti, both in Newark, Del., and a collision center from Porter Automotive Group. Newark is in northern Delaware.

The dealerships were renamed Hertrich Nissan of Newark and Hertrich Infiniti of Newark, the group said. It marks the first Infiniti dealership for the group and its second Nissan store, Hertrich said.

“The Porter family has been an icon in the Delaware automotive industry for years and we are honored to continue their legacy of serving their customers and the community,” Hertrich Vice President Fred Hertrich IV said in a statement.

The Nissan and Infiniti stores are Hertrich’s first franchised dealership acquisitions since it bought a Maryland Ford store in December 2019, the company said. In addition to Delaware and Maryland, Hertrich Family of Automobile Dealerships also has a dealership in New Jersey.

Hertrich ranks No. 109 on Automotive News‘ list of the top 150 dealership groups based in the U.S., retailing 9,098 new vehicles in 2021.

The Khoury Group added to its Texas-only portfolio with a fourth-quarter acquisition of a Ford store in the central part of the state.

The Khoury Group, of San Antonio, on Oct. 10 bought Heart of Texas Ford in Brady from husband and wife John Reavis and Kelly Reavis, according to Mike Sims, president of buy-sell firm Pinnacle Mergers & Acquisitions in Frisco, Texas. It was the Reavis’ only store, Sims noted.

The dealership was renamed Destination Ford of Brady, according to a post on The Khoury Group’s Facebook page. Brady is northwest of Austin.

The Khoury Group now has 14 franchised dealerships throughout Texas, plus four used-vehicle stores, according to the group’s website.

Wes Hamilton, executive vice president at Pinnacle, represented the sellers in the transaction.

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