The late Cal Worthington's iconic Ford dealership sold, a store part owned by a race-car driver changed hands, a dealer shed her only dealership and a group entered its second state, all in transactions that closed in the fourth quarter and first quarter.
Here's a look at the deals involving import and domestic brands and stores in Wisconsin, Indiana, Virginia and California.
Nouri/Shaver Automotive expands with purchase of iconic Worthington Ford
A Southern California dealership with a long family legacy has new owners for the first time since 1963.
Bob Nouri and Pete Shaver of Nouri/Shaver Automotive Group on Feb. 28 purchased Worthington Ford from Nick Worthington and Dave Karalis, Nouri confirmed to Automotive News.
The Long Beach dealership became the last bearing the name of Cal Worthington, who died in 2013 at 92. Cal Worthington at one point owned 29 dealerships across the country. He bought Worthington Ford in 1963.
Cal Worthington garnered local fame thanks to commercials that featured guest appearances by all kinds of animals, including a roller-skating chimpanzee.
Nouri remembers those commercials telling customers to "Go see Cal!" He said "never in my wildest imagination" did he dream he'd have any part in the dealership's legacy.
Nick Worthington, Cal Worthington's grandson, ran the dealership with his grandfather's longtime partner Karalis, who also is his father-in-law, according to Performance Brokerage Services, a buy-sell firm in Irvine, Calif.
Performance Brokerage co-founder Jason Stopnitzky, who facilitated the transaction, said he received "hundreds" of calls, texts and emails from people commenting on the deal. "He was arguably one of the most famous car guys," Stopnitzky said.
Nouri said the acquisition makes 17 dealerships for Nouri/Shaver Automotive.
Most recently, the group capped an acquisitive 2022 with the Dec. 20 purchase of a Buick-GMC-Cadillac store in Costa Mesa, Calif.
Nouri/Shaver renamed their most recent acquisition BP Ford of Long Beach, with the "BP" used as an abbreviation for Bob and Pete. Nouri said he'll use the catchphrase "Go see Bob" to pay homage to the late Worthington.
Future acquisitions are tied to the group's financial goals rather than having a specific dealership count, Nouri said.
Nouri/Shaver generated $2.1 billion in total revenue in 2022, and the duo hopes to earn $3 billion in 2023, according to Nouri. He said they'd like to reach $5 billion in total revenue by 2026.
"However many [dealerships] it would take for us to get our revenue there, that's what we're going to do," Nouri said.