Germain Automotive Partnership in Columbus, Ohio, has purchased five dealerships from publicly traded Sonic Automotive Inc., as Sonic appears to be exiting the Ohio market.
Rick Germain and his sons Paul and John Germain this week purchased Hatfield Hyundai, Hatfield Subaru, Hatfield Volkswagen, Hatfield Kia and Toyota West, all in Columbus. The acquisition includes real estate. Other terms and the purchase price weren't disclosed.
The Toyota West name will remain, while the other dealerships have been renamed Germain Hyundai, Germain Subaru of Columbus, Germain Volkswagen of Columbus and Germain Kia of Columbus. The stores employ about 300 people.
"We are thrilled to be expanding our product offering by adding five additional automotive brands to our Germain family of dealerships," Rick Germain said in a statement. "We are lucky to serve a loyal group of customers and we are excited to bring our family-owned operation to new brands that we do not currently represent in Columbus.
"The opportunity to acquire five stores and double our volume of business in this market is a very unique opportunity."
Germain Automotive Partnership formed in 2011 and also owns Germain Lexus of Dublin, Germain Lexus of Easton, Germain Nissan of Columbus, Germain Ford of Columbus and Germain Mazda of Columbus, all in Ohio, and Germain Toyota of Naples, in Florida.
Rick's two brothers, Steve Germain and Bob Germain, own other Germain-branded stores.
A Sonic spokeswoman could not immediately be reached for comment.
This year, Sonic sold two dealerships, Lexus of Rockville, in Maryland, and Honda of Tysons Corner, in Virginia, to Graham Holdings, an Arlington, Va., conglomerate. Sonic has been selling some of its franchised stores as it amps up its EchoPark brand of standalone used-vehicle stores.
At the end of the third quarter, Sonic had 91 new-vehicle stores, 103 new-vehicle franchises and 15 collision centers across 13 states. The Ohio stores were its farthest north and last year represented 3 percent of its total revenue.
Sonic, of Charlotte, N.C., ranks No. 5 on Automotive News' list of the top 150 dealership groups based in the U.S., retailing 122,717 new vehicles in 2018.