Bruce Patchett must have fielded two dozen calls over the past two years from people who wanted to buy Bruce Chevrolet in Hillsboro, Ore., a store the New Zealand native had operated for 41 years.
Patchett, 75, had no children to transition the business to and broker Joe Beaver from Dave Cantin Group's DCG Acquisitions called him last year at "the right time," Patchett said. He sold his store near Portland in April to Dick's Auto Group. "I just felt it was time for me to move on," he said.
A range of factors — from concern over future electric vehicles impacting all-important service and parts profits to heightened talk of direct-to-consumer sales and not wanting to make investments in digital retail to compete with larger groups or to adhere to mandated facilities requirements — has persuaded some dealers to sell their stores, buy-sell brokers say.