Tony March and Ernest Hodge have combined their dealership companies to create a private holding company that will oversee 13 new-car dealerships and one used-car store in four states.
March/Hodge Holding Co. is expected to generate $300 million in new and used retail sales, said March. He declined to provide new and used sales figures.
Classmates and graduates of General Motors' Minority Deal-er Development program, March and Hodge have been dealers since 1985.
March, 47, was a GM engineer for 13 years before he became president of March Buick-GMC-Saturn in Hartford, Conn. Hodge, 48, held several dealership management positions prior to acquiring Heritage Automotive Group.
Hodge's organization includes Oldsmobile, Cadillac, Isuzu and Volkswagen franchises in Mur-freesboro, Tenn., and Morrow, Ga., and Val-U-Ride Used Cars, also in Morrow.
March/Hodge closed a deal on two Pontiac-Buick-GMC stores and one Pontiac-GMC store in the Baltimore area on May 18 and plans to break ground soon on a Lincoln-Mercury store in Atlanta that is scheduled to open in February.
March is building a second Saturn store in Berlin, Conn., which is to open in March. He has signed purchase agreements for two other dealerships in the Hartford, Conn., area. He declined to name those stores but said the deals are expected to be completed by July 1.
Hodge's Heritage Automotive Group is No. 16 on Black Enterprise magazine's 1998 B.E. Auto Dealer 100 list which ranks black dealers in terms of dollar sales for the previous year.
March's company is No. 58.