Ford, Chevy and Mitsubishi dealerships change hands in Q1, Q2 transactions

Three dealership groups expanded with single-store purchases and an owner buying his second store in first-quarter and second-quarter transactions.

Here’s a look at the deals involving domestic and import dealerships and stores in Texas, Michigan, Oklahoma and Maryland.


Star Family of Dealerships buys Ford store
Star Family of Dealerships in Texas expanded last month with the purchase of a Ford dealership.

The group, owned by Mike Dunnahoo and Tracy Gilliam, bought Big Spring Ford in Big Spring, Texas, on June 28, according to DCG Acquisitions, a Dave Cantin Group company that handled the transaction. Tony Karabon of DCG Acquisitions was the broker.

The dealership was renamed Star Ford of Big Spring. Big Spring is west of Abilene, where Star Family of Dealerships is based, according to its website.

The group bought the store from Ford & Son’s Auto Investors LLC. That’s former RFJ Auto Partners Holdings Inc. CEO Rick Ford’s holding company.

Big Spring Ford was the lone dealership not included in Sonic Automotive Inc.’s December purchase of RFJ Auto.

Ford previously told Automotive News that RFJ Auto Partners already had a deal in place to sell Big Spring Ford prior to its agreement to sell to Sonic. Ford is now executive vice president of operations of the RFJ Auto platform at Sonic.

Star Family of Dealerships now has four franchised dealerships, according to its website. It has a Stellantis store in both Abilene and Big Spring, plus a Hyundai dealership and a used-vehicle store in Abilene.


Glassman Automotive grows
Glassman Automotive Group bulked up its import brand presence in metro Detroit with the acquisition of its first Mitsubishi store.

Glassman Automotive on March 1 bought Art Moran Mitsubishi in Southfield, Mich., from dealer Tom Moran, according to Michael Glassman, the group’s vice president.

Southfield, where Glassman Automotive is based, is north of Detroit. The dealership, which relocated nearby, was renamed Glassman Mitsubishi.

“We’re really excited to pick it up and move things forward,” Glassman said.

Glassman Mitsubishi joins the group’s Subaru, Kia and Hyundai-Genesis stores, all of which are located about one mile south of the Art Moran Mitsubishi dealership.

In 2017, the group bought a former Toys R Us store located next to its Subaru dealership and eventually turned it into an indoor used-vehicle center.

The Mitsubishi franchise is housed in that facility for now, but Glassman said the group plans to eventually build a separate building for the Japanese brand.


Jay Hatfield adds store in Oklahoma
Jay Hatfield Auto Group has purchased Bob Hart Chevrolet in Vinita, Okla., according to Paul Kechnie, the broker who represented Hart in the sale.

Jay Hatfield Auto purchased the Chevrolet dealership on May 5 as Bob Hart retired.

The dealership was renamed Jay Hatfield Chevrolet of Vinita. Vinita is northeast of Tulsa.

The Jay Hatfield group has five franchised dealerships in Kansas, Missouri and now Oklahoma, according to the group’s website.

“Bob was looking to retire, and we had been talking for a couple years just on and off and I have done business with Jay Hatfield in the past and found him to be just a wonderful guy and wonderful buyer,” Kechnie, a partner at Performance Brokerage Services Inc., a buy-sell firm in Irvine, Calif., told Automotive News. “So when Bob Hart and I started talking, I suggested that we go directly to Jay Hatfield and see if he would like to buy the store.”


Kelly adds Chevrolet dealership
Rick Kelly purchased Douglas Chevrolet in Hancock, Md., from Steve Douglas on March 28, Kelly told Automotive News.

He renamed the store Hancock Chevrolet.

Kelly also owns and is dealer principal of Hagerstown Ford in Maryland. That store is part of family-owned King Auto Group in Gaithersburg, Md.

Kelly said he purchased the Chevy store on his own, as it is in close proximity to Hagerstown Ford.

“I’m not a megadealer or anything, so I needed to find something that was reasonable in price and close enough that I could manage it with my current management team,” Kelly said. “And Hancock Chevrolet is 25 miles from Hagerstown Ford.”

Kelly said he also purchased a used-vehicle dealership in Berkeley Springs, W.Va., from Douglas.

He said Douglas decided to sell his stores due to his age. Kelly said, following the sale, that he is focused on recovering from the COVID-19 pandemic and improving sales.

“We’ve made money every month and I’m pretty happy with the progress,” Kelly said.