A Canadian auto retailer continued its Texas expansion in the fourth quarter, while three other companies added dealerships in third-quarter deals.
Here's a look at the deals involving domestic and import stores and dealerships in Texas, Missouri and Wyoming. One involves an auto retailer ranked on the Automotive News list of the top 150 dealership groups.
Steele Auto expands again in Texas
Expanding Canadian retailer Steele Auto Group continued its acquisition spree in Texas on Oct. 17 with the purchase of Nyle Maxwell GMC in the Austin suburb of Round Rock.
Steele Auto bought the rare standalone GMC store from Nyle Maxwell.
"Round Rock, located just outside [the] Austin city limits, is a growing area where we see the potential for continued growth," Steele Auto President Kim Day said in a statement.
The dealership, renamed Steele GMC Round Rock, will "nicely complement" Steele's existing locations in Texas, Day added.
As of Jan. 1, there were just 50 exclusive GMC dealerships in the country, according to Automotive News' annual dealership census.
The acquisition marks Steele's third purchase in Texas in five months. The dealership group's footprint in the state has grown to eight stores since 2020. In July, Steele Auto, of Dartmouth, Nova Scotia, bought a Stellantis store in San Antonio and in June purchased a Houston Hyundai dealership from auto retail giant Group 1 Automotive Inc.
In addition to its Texas stores, Steele Auto also owns 51 dealerships in Canada.
Cavender Auto grows beyond San Antonio
Cavender Auto Group expanded its Texas presence and introduced the Nissan brand with its Sept. 12 purchase of two Nissan stores from Steve and Brent McGavock, Rob Cavender, the group's vice president, confirmed to Automotive News.
McGavock Nissan of Rockwall was part of McGavock Automotive Group since 2020 while McGavock Nissan of San Marcos was part of the group since 2019, according to a statement from National Business Brokers, a buy-sell firm in Irvine, Calif., which handled the transaction. Chris Teape, senior vice president of the Midsouth region, and Drew Bray, vice president of the Midsouth region for National Business Brokers, handled the deal.
"Both of these stores had been through numerous ownership groups in a short period of time, and we are looking forward to stabilizing the ownership," Rob Cavender said in a statement. "We plan to hold these acquisitions as long-term plays and put them both on a new trajectory."
LMP Automotive planned to purchase five dealerships from McGavock Auto, including an Infiniti store in Lubbock, Texas, and four Texas Nissan stores in Abilene, Amarillo, San Marcos and Lubbock. The Rockwall store was not included in that prospective sale. McGavock sold the Abilene store on June 1 to Dillon Clark and partners.
Cavender Auto renamed the dealerships Cavender Nissan of Rockwall and Cavender Nissan of San Marcos. Rockwall is part of the Dallas metropolitan area while San Marcos is northeast of San Antonio.
Cavender Auto of San Antonio is a third-generation, family-owned business. Cavender Auto also sells other brands such as Buick, GMC, Cadillac, Chevrolet, Ford, Jaguar and Land Rover.
McGrath Imports buys first store outside Illinois
Brothers Kevin McGrath and Mike McGrath Jr., owners of McGrath Imports of Chicago, bought Fulton Chrysler-Dodge-Jeep-Ram, in Missouri, from Chuck Holder. The deal closed Aug. 4, marking the group's first store outside Illinois.
They renamed the store McGrath Fulton Chrysler-Dodge-Jeep-Ram and plan to relocate it to nearby Kingdom City, Mo., according to Jennifer Rafael, vice president for the Midwest region of Dealer Solutions Mergers and Acquisitions, which represented the McGrath group in the deal.
Both Fulton and Kingdom City are east of Columbia, Mo.
McGrath Imports bought its first domestic store, now called McGrath Highway Chevrolet-Buick-GMC, in El Paso, Ill., in August 2021. McGrath also sells Acura, Genesis, Honda, Hyundai, Kia, Lexus, Mazda and Subaru vehicles in Illinois, according to its website.
Rafael told Automotive News that the McGrath group "is definitely in a growth mode" in the Midwest.
The McGraths' strategy is to appoint managing partners to oversee their stores in different markets, Rafael said.
Will Mulcahy is McGrath's managing partner at its new Fulton store, she said, and is also managing partner of McGrath Arlington Kia in Palatine, Ill., and McGrath Highway Chevrolet-Buick-GMC.
Hal Feder, managing director of Murphy Business & Financial Corp. of Williamsburg, Va., represented Holder in the transaction.
Summit Automotive adds Nissan store
Summit Automotive Partners added to its growing presence in Wyoming with the purchase of former Nissan of Casper — its second dealership in the state and second store in Casper, in central Wyoming.
Summit Automotive, of Centennial, Colo., has a practice of using different brand names for clusters of dealerships in widely separated markets. Nissan of Casper was renamed Vista Nissan.
The transaction, which closed Aug. 12, was selling dealer Chris Brower's only dealership, said broker Tim Wild. Wild, director of the Midwest & Plains Region for buy-sell firm Tim Lamb Group in Columbus, Ohio, represented the buyer, but said he worked with both parties.
Vista Nissan and another dealership in Casper, Vista Toyota, use the Vista name. Vista Toyota is the new name for the former Foss Toyota in Casper, which Summit Automotive bought in December 2021.
Summit Automotive has dealerships in six states — Wyoming, Colorado, Tennessee, Maine, New Hampshire and Vermont.
Summit Automotive ranks No. 56 on the Automotive News list of the top 150 dealership groups based in the U.S., retailing 15,853 new vehicles in 2021.