A private dealership group headed by billionaire Robert Johnson has bought a Chevrolet dealership in Huntsville, Ala., formerly owned by bankrupt Bill Heard Enterprises Inc. The dealership is scheduled to reopen Monday
The RLJ-McLarty-Landers Partnership paid $6 million for the dealership, said Fred Caruso, a turnaround consultant who is selling the Heard stores. That figure does not include vehicle and parts inventories, Caruso said.
Aside from Johnson, the founder of Black Entertainment Television, the partners in the venture are Arkansas dealer Steve Landers and Mack McLarty, a White House chief of staff under former President Bill Clinton. The Huntsville dealership will operate under the name Landers-McLarty Chevrolet.
RLJ-McLarty-Landers operates 36 franchises, both Detroit 3 and import brand, in Alabama, Arkansas, Kansas, Louisiana, Missouri, Tennessee and Texas.
The partnership seeks to train minority managers who want to become dealers and enable them to acquire ownership stakes. The group named Derrick Daniels, who is African-American, the Huntsville dealerships general sales manager. Daniels is in line to become a partner-operator with the group, Landers told Automotive News.
Once a top seller of Chevrolet cars and trucks, Heard Enterprises closed its 14 Chevrolet dealerships and filed for bankruptcy protection last September.