Twin Cities Automotive renamed Carousel Motor Group

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Twin Cities Automotive, a dealership group owned by Pohlad Cos., has changed its name to Carousel Motor Group.

The group owns 12 luxury- and domestic-brand stores with annual revenue of about $600 million, holding about 11 percent of the new-vehicle market in the Twin Cities, the company says. Carousel plans to grow to 25 stores with annual revenue of $1 billion in the next five years.

Store names will not be required to change, but Tim Kraemer, Carousel senior vice president, today said “subtle” signage will indicate they are members of Carousel.

“We want to respect the name of the brand rather than the name of our company,” he said.

The group said the change is part of an initiative to extend beyond Minneapolis-St. Paul and its current vehicle brands, and perhaps beyond four-wheel vehicles.

Seeking growth

Kraemer said Carousel is exploring avenues for growth, but has not targeted any locations or brands.

“We’re interested in desirable brands and desirable markets,” he said. “We’re looking at any deal that makes sense in our wheelhouse.”

The new name is a tribute to the acquisition of Carousel Audi and Porsche in August 2012. The group first considered a name change to expand possibilities for growth as early as that December.

The new name “allows us to go anywhere in the digital age,” Kraemer said. “It’s limitless as far as branding.”

The Pohlad Cos., which also owns the Minnesota Twins professional baseball team, bought its first two dealerships in May 2009 and continued to grow rapidly in auto retailing after selling its stake in a Pepsi-Cola bottling business.

Minnesota lineup

Its current lineup of dealerships, all in Minnesota, includes Audi Minneapolis, Audi St. Paul, BMW of Minnetonka, Chevrolet of Delano, Coon Rapids Chrysler, Inver Grove Hyundai, Mercedes-Benz of Maplewood, North Branch Chevrolet, Porsche of Minneapolis, Porsche of St. Paul, St. Cloud Hyundai and Star West Motorsports. The latter sells motorcycles, all-terrain vehicles and snowmobiles, among other products.

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