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Three groups buy dealerships in December transactions

East Hills Auto Group, Bergey's Inc. and the Viva & Fiesta Auto Group each acquired dealerships in December.

Three auto retail groups added dealerships in December to expand in New York, Pennsylvania and New Mexico.

Here's a look at the transactions involving import brands.

East Hills grows on Long Island
East Hills Auto Group expanded last month on Long Island with the purchase of a Volkswagen-Subaru dealership.

The group on Dec. 13 bought Donaldsons Volkswagen-Subaru in Sayville, N.Y., from David Donaldson and Bill Donaldson, said Phil Wolhar, chief marketing officer for the East Hills group.

The store was renamed East Hills Volkswagen of Sayville-East Hills Subaru of Sayville.

The East Hills group, owned by the Brodlieb family, got its start in 1975 with a Chrysler-Plymouth dealership in Greenvale, N.Y., and now has six rooftops that sell Chrysler, Dodge, Jeep, Ram, Subaru, Chevrolet and Volkswagen vehicles, according to its website.

Wolhar told Automotive News that East Hills saw the Volkswagen-Subaru dealership acquisition as a "great opportunity to expand successes we've had with our existing Subaru store" and a "great opportunity to add Volkswagen, a strong, global brand to our offerings."

Bergey's grows in Pennsylvania
Bergey's Inc. added two dealerships in Larksville, Pa., last month, following its September acquisition of a Chevrolet dealership in Plymouth Meeting, Pa.

Bergey's of Souderton, Pa., on Dec. 14 bought Wyoming Valley Kia and Wyoming Valley Mazda-Volkswagen from Wyoming Valley Motors, according to DCG Acquisitions, a Dave Cantin Group company, which handled the transaction. Brian Brown and Drew Picon were the brokers.

In May, Wyoming Valley Motors sold an Audi dealership in Wilkes Barre, Pa., to Burlington Automotive Group.

Bergey's renamed the Larksville dealerships Bergey's Mazda-Volkswagen of Wilkes-Barre and Bergey's Kia of Wilkes-Barre.

Founded in 1924 with an auto repair shop, Bergey's now has 10 franchised auto dealerships, all in Pennsylvania, according to its website. It also has other businesses such as truck centers and tire centers located in Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Delaware and Maryland.

Viva & Fiesta grow in N.M.
Viva & Fiesta Auto Group on Dec. 13 added the Toyota brand to its dealership portfolio and expanded its presence in Las Cruces, N.M.

Viva of El Paso, Texas, bought Vescovo Toyota in Las Cruces from George Vescovo, according to Kerrigan Advisors, a sell-side firm in Irvine, Calif., which represented the seller in the transaction.

The dealership was renamed Viva Toyota of Las Cruces. Las Cruces is in the southern part of New Mexico, just north of El Paso. The group also has a Chrysler-Dodge-Jeep-Ram-Fiat store in Las Cruces.

Vescovo has stayed on as general manager of the dealership, said Jamie Dick, president of Viva & Fiesta Auto Group.

Dick said the brand and location presented an attractive opportunity for his group.

"It's just our first Toyota store and obviously Toyota's a marquee brand," he told Automotive News. "Las Cruces is just about 40 minutes away from our headquarters."

Viva Auto Group, which has 16 new-vehicle franchises at dealerships in Texas and New Mexico, operates under the Fiesta brand name in the Albuquerque and Santa Fe markets, Dick said.

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