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Sonic buys 2 Colorado dealerships, returns to Subaru brand

With the acquisition, Sonic has three Volkswagen dealerships in its portfolio.

Sonic Automotive Inc. made its first franchised dealership acquisition in nearly seven years on Monday when it bought two Colorado dealerships.

Sonic bought Grand Junction Subaru and Grand Junction Volkswagen in Colorado from Ron Bubar. Bubar is retiring, according to Kerrigan Advisors, which represented him in the transaction. Sonic did not use a broker.

The Subaru dealership marks a return to the Japanese brand for Sonic. It had owned a Subaru dealership in Columbus, Ohio, but sold it to Germain Motor Co. in 2019. With the acquisition, Sonic has three Volkswagen dealerships in its portfolio.

"These two franchises represent the first of several upcoming acquisitions for our franchised dealership business, and we are pleased to add Subaru to our brand portfolio and continue to grow our partnership with Volkswagen," Sonic President Jeff Dyke said in a statement. "Both of these brands are in high demand in the Colorado market and will allow us to continue to expand our network in the western part of the state, reaching new consumers beyond our existing footprint."

Terms were not disclosed, though Sonic will keep the dealerships' names. With the acquisition, the group has 86 new-vehicle dealerships, according to a Sonic spokesman.

The stores in Grand Junction, located in western Colorado near the Utah border, increase Sonic's dealership count in the state to six. Sonic owns BMW of Denver Downtown, Mercedes-Benz of Denver and Mountain States Toyota, all in the Denver area, and Land Rover of Roaring Fork in Glenwood Springs. Sonic bought the Land Rover dealership in November 2014 which was also the group's most recent franchised dealership acquisition.

Sonic also has three EchoPark used-vehicle-only stores in Colorado.

In June, Sonic sold Momentum Volvo Cars in Houston to Swickard Auto Group.

Sonic, of Charlotte, N.C., ranks No. 7 on Automotive News' list of the top 150 dealership groups based in the U.S., retailing 93,281 new vehicles in 2020.

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