Editor's note: A previous version of this story mischaracterized the footprint of Sobel's dealerships.
Northeastern auto dealer Jonathan Sobel has purchased three dealerships in Auburn, N.Y., from Bill and Jane Fox, bringing his total dealership count to 13 stores representing 16 franchises. The sale closed Monday.
The deal, involving four franchises in the three locations, adds Toyota and Subaru to Sobel's group and expands its presence in Auburn. Sobel, a former Goldman Sachs partner, also has stores in New York City; Princeton, N.J.; and Southampton, N.Y.
Bill Fox was chairman of the National Automobile Dealers Association in 2015. His sister, Jane Fox, was chair of the New York State Automobile Dealers Association in 1991.
The Fox stores — Fox Honda, Fox Toyota-Subaru and Fox Chrysler-Dodge-Jeep-Ram — represent the remnants of a family-owned dealership group dating to 1976.
Sobel told Automotive News he plans to retain virtually all the stores' employees. There are no immediate plans to change the names of the dealerships, he said, because of the strong reputation the Fox name has in the community.
"It's rare that you have an opportunity to purchase Toyota, Subaru, Honda and Jeep franchises, particularly all together in one well-run group that has been under quality family ownership for 50 years," Sobel said.
Neither the buyer nor the sellers disclosed the purchase price. Haig Partners represented the sellers in the deal, first reported in The (Auburn) Citizen.
The Foxes will continue operating a fourth store, Sharon Chevrolet in Liverpool, N.Y., as they transition its ownership to one of their employees, Mike Carrow.