Kia, Jaguar Land Rover, Volvo dealerships trade hands across four states

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Two growing auto retailers expanded with multiple third-quarter and fourth-quarter transactions.

Here’s a look at the deals involving import and luxury dealerships in West Virginia, Ohio, New York and Massachusetts. Two deals involved an auto retailer ranked on Automotive Newstop 150 dealership groups list.

Ganley goes on Kia buying spree

Growing Ken Ganley Cos. entered a new state and bulked up its Ohio footprint with acquisitions in September and this month.

The group, of Broadview Heights, Ohio, bought Freedom Kia of Clarksburg in Bridgeport, W.Va., from Mike Wood on Sept. 1, according to CEO Ken Ganley. The dealership was renamed Ken Ganley Kia Clarksburg.

It marks the group’s first dealership in West Virginia, Ganley said. Bridgeport is in the northern part of the state, southwest of Morgantown.

The acquisition follows Ganley’s February purchase of a Kia dealership in Mentor, Ohio, northeast of Cleveland.

On Nov. 8, Ken Ganley Cos. bought two more Kia dealerships, also in Ohio. The group purchased Taylor Kia of Boardman and Taylor Kia of Alliance from Matthew Taylor.

The stores were renamed Ken Ganley Kia Boardman and Ken Ganley Kia Alliance, Ganley said. Boardman is south of Youngstown, and Alliance is southeast of Akron.

Ganley now has five Kia dealerships in his portfolio.

“It’s a wonderful brand; the products are phenomenal,” Ganley told Automotive News. “I really like the national and regional leadership. They’ve been wonderful to work with. I couldn’t be happier with Kia.”

Taylor sold two dealerships to Diehl Automotive Group in May and another store, also to Diehl Automotive, in June.

Ganley said the two Kia stores were Taylor’s last dealerships. Ganley noted that Taylor has stayed on to run the two dealerships he sold.

Drew Picon, a managing director of DCG Acquisitions, a Dave Cantin Group company, handled the Ganley-Taylor transaction.

Ken Ganley Cos. ranks No. 15 on Automotive News‘ most recent list of the top 150 dealership groups based in the U.S., retailing 36,079 new vehicles in 2021.

McGovern Automotive continues growth

McGovern Automotive Group, which has been an active dealership buyer in 2022, continued its acquisition drive with the purchase of three stores in two transactions.

McGovern Automotive, of Newton, Mass., on Oct. 20 bought Capital Volvo Cars of Albany in Colonie, N.Y., and Jaguar-Land Rover Albany from Eric Kahn.

The stores are McGovern’s first JLR and Volvo dealerships, CEO Matt McGovern confirmed. The Volvo dealership was renamed McGovern Volvo Cars Albany, while the JLR dealership’s name remains.

McGovern’s brand portfolio ranges from mass-market to Ferrari, but he said Land Rover and Volvo were big holes in the lineup.

“We’ve been very intrigued by those brands and wanted to acquire them as soon as possible,” McGovern, an auto retail veteran who co-founded New England’s Prime Motor Group, told Automotive News.

Albany, New York’s capital, is a new market for McGovern Automotive, which also has dealerships on Long Island in addition to stores in Massachusetts and New Hampshire.

“It’s definitely further away from our core group of stores,” McGovern said. “But it’s worth the trip to get familiar with these two brands. That’s what really [has] been my best source of acquisitions is within the brands themselves. So get in, perform well for the brand, solve problems for the brand, and you can often get other stores from them.”

Nate Klebacha, a partner with Haig Partners, a buy-sell firm in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., represented Kahn in the transaction. Kahn still owns four dealerships in New York, Haig Partners noted.

“The sale of the stores is bittersweet,” Kahn said in a statement. “Capital Volvo was my first store; I was proud of the team we built and the success we had both there and at Jaguar-Land Rover Albany. However, I decided it was the right time to focus my energies and resources on … stores that I own in the mid-Hudson Valley and Syracuse.”

The Albany acquisition was McGovern Automotive’s first since it bought a Massachusetts Stellantis dealership in June, McGovern confirmed.

McGovern Automotive this month also bought a Kia dealership near Boston.

McGovern purchased Dan O’Brien Kia Norwood from Dan O’Brien of Dan O’Brien Auto Group on Nov. 7. The store was renamed McGovern Kia of Norwood.

O’Brien sold a Subaru store in New Hampshire in September and a Massachusetts Nissan dealership in May. O’Brien was named to Automotive News’ 40 Under 40 class in 2018.

As with the Jaguar-Land Rover and Volvo deal, Kia is a new brand for McGovern Automotive.

“It’s obviously a very hot brand these days [and has] come a long way in the last two, three years,” McGovern said. “That was another hole in our portfolio. That one, luckily, was very close to home.”

Following the acquisitions, McGovern has a total of 23 new- and used-vehicle dealerships.

Nancy Phillips Associates, a buy-sell firm in Exeter, N.H., represented O’Brien in the Kia transaction.

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