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4 dealerships change hands in single-store acquisitions; Morgan Auto, Island Auto expand

Morgan Auto Group and Island Auto Group each bought stores this month as part of single-store transactions.

Three dealership groups have expanded with single-store acquisitions in the third quarter, while one transaction included a dealer who bought his first store.

Here's a quick look at the deals involving domestic- and import-brand stores. Two transactions involved an Automotive News top 150 dealership group.

Florida growth
Growing Morgan Auto Group acquired a Nissan store in Florida this month from Fuccillo Automotive Group.

Morgan of Tampa, Fla., on Aug. 17 bought Fuccillo Nissan of Clearwater, marking its 46th store and 14th in the Tampa Bay region. The dealership has been renamed Nissan of Clearwater.

"We're thrilled to have our first dealership in Pinellas County," Morgan Auto Group CEO Brett Morgan said in a statement. "We're also pleased to take the Fuccillo legacy forward once again with this acquisition, our third acquired from that great organization."

In the fourth quarter of 2019, Morgan bought Fuccillo Nissan of Orange Park in Jacksonville, Fla., and in the first quarter of 2020 bought Fuccillo Kia of Wesley Chapel.

The group also in late 2020 purchased the O'Brien Auto Park of Fort Myers in Florida, consisting of Subaru, Mazda and Hyundai-Genesis stores.

"This was a match that just made sense," Billy Fuccillo Jr., president of the Fuccillo group, said in a statement about the latest sale. "Our goal was to make sure that Nissan of Clearwater continued to serve the community with the highest of standards, and Morgan Auto Group's deep roots in Florida, and superlative record, should ensure just that."

Kerrigan Advisors, a sell-side firm in Irvine, Calif., represented Fuccillo in the sale. It has worked with the group on the sale of five stores in Florida in over the past few years.

Morgan ranks No. 11 on Automotive News' list of the top 150 dealership groups based in the U.S., retailing 41,842 new vehicles in 2020.

First Chevy store
Island Auto Group acquired its first Chevrolet dealership on Aug. 18 when it acquired Manfredi Chevrolet in Staten Island, N.Y., from the Manfredi family.

The dealership, which was renamed Island Chevrolet, was the last store owned by the Manfredi family. Island Auto bought eight dealerships from the Manfredi family in 2015.

Island Auto wanted to buy the Chevrolet store back then, too, noted Marcello Sciarrino, a partner in the group, but said the Manfredi family had wanted to hold onto it.

"We've always coveted Chevy," Sciarrino told Automotive News. "It's definitely opportunistic for us because we own the vast majority of the stores here on Staten Island. I mean, we own 80 percent of the market here. So strategically, this store made a lot of sense for us."

Island Auto, which is based in Staten Island, now has 29 dealerships in the New York City area. Sciarrino owns the group with partners Josh Aaronson and Ron Baron.

Island Auto Group ranks No. 70 on Automotive News' list of the top 150 dealership groups based in the U.S., retailing 12,961 new vehicles in 2020.

First store
Brad Hoffer and Josh Johnson in July purchased Dunham Motor Sales in Angola, Ind., near the Michigan-Indiana border.

Patsy Dunham sold the longtime family-owned store on July 8. The dealership has been renamed Angola Chrysler-Dodge-Jeep-Ram.

Johnson is the store's finance manager. This is Hoffer's first dealership purchase. He said he started in the industry at 18, working as a salesperson at a Dodge store.

"It's exciting," he told Automotive News. "It's a dream come true."

Hoffer said Dunham's son, Vince Dunham, and daughterLeAnn Bootswill continue in their roles as a salesperson and service director, respectively.

"Patsy & Larry Dunham have left a legacy in their family owned dealership," a July 10 Facebook post from Angola Chrysler-Dodge-Jeep-Ram reads. "We are humbled and honored to take the baton and run this dealership with the same core values, care and dedication to people over profit."

Tim Wild of the Tim Lamb Group represented the buyer in the transaction.

Second franchised dealership
Dunhill Auto Group, led by partners Yan Chertok and Arthur Boguslavskiy, acquired its second franchised dealership last month with the purchase of Sunrise Chevrolet in Forest Hills, N.Y., located in New York City's Queens borough.

Chertok and Boguslavskiy on July 27 bought the store from dealer Jimmy Berg. The dealership name will remain.

"We like General Motors' products and thought it was a good opportunity," Boguslavskiy, vice president at Dunhill Auto, told Automotive News.

In June, Dunhill Auto, of South Amboy, N.J., bought its first franchised dealership: Mitsubishi of Quakertown in Pennsylvania, northwest of Philadelphia, from Peruzzi Auto Group. The store was renamed Quakertown Mitsubishi.

Dunhill also has four used-vehicle dealerships in New Jersey suburbs of New York City.

Rob Lee of the Tim Lamb Group brokered the Chevrolet store transaction.

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