Florida group adds GM store
Starling Automotive Group acquired its sixth General Motors dealership when in bought a Florida Buick-GMC store late in the fourth quarter of 2021.
Starling Automotive on Dec. 13 bought Carl's Buick-GMC in Stuart from retiring dealer Carl Fischer, said Andrew Starling, one of the group's dealer principals.
The dealership has been renamed Starling Buick-GMC of Stuart.
Starling Automotive, of Orlando, is led by Starling's father, Alan, who is CEO. Andrew Starling's brothers, Jack and Walker, also are dealer principals.
Stuart is located on Florida's Atlantic coast, north of Jupiter.
"We were attracted first to expanding the GM footprint, but in terms of a market, it would be hard to think of a better town to grow into than Stuart," Andrew Starling told Automotive News. "That's a very vibrant and growing part of the state."
Starling Automotive has four other dealerships in Florida and one in South Carolina.
Andrew Starling said the purchase of the Buick-GMC store is the group's first acquisition since it bought a Chevrolet dealership near Charleston, S.C., in 2018.
"We kinda believe that you either got to grow, or you got to go," Andrew Starling said. "From a planning perspective, we would love to add at least one rooftop a year."
Baker sells N.J. dealership
Dealer Brandon Baker of Baker Auto Group sold his Chrysler-Dodge-Jeep-Ram dealership in Princeton, N.J., last month to two first-time dealership owners.
Mark DeMaio, a former dealership general manager, and his partner Charlie Caronia plan to expand their holdings beyond the single Stellantis dealership that they purchased Dec. 15, according to Dan Murphy, managing member of D.T. Murphy & Co. in Glen Ridge, N.J., who handled the transaction.
Baker Chrysler-Jeep-Dodge-Ram was renamed Chrysler-Dodge-Jeep-Ram of Princeton. All 30 employees of the dealership were retained, Murphy said.
Baker downsized his New Jersey footprint to focus on the DeSoto Auto Mall he acquired last year in Arcadia, Fla., north of Fort Myers. That dealership sells Ford, Chrysler, Dodge, Jeep and Ram vehicles.
Baker also operates Victory Subaru in Somerset, N.J., which also sells Lotus vehicles under the Victory Lotus name.
DeMaio previously was general manager of Infiniti of Englewood in New Jersey. Caronia, who provided capital to help purchase the dealership, owns finance and insurance provider Comprehensive Auto Resources Co., of Exton, Pa.
Logan Parker of Bass Sox Mercer, a Tallahassee, Fla., dealership law firm, advised Baker in the transaction, while Craig Heller of Schiller, Pittenger & Galvin, a Scotch Plains, N.J., law firm, advised DeMaio and Caronia.
Third dealership for Lake Auto
Lake Auto bought its first Chrysler-Dodge-Jeep-Ram dealership last month with the acquisition of Frey Motors.
Luke Lake of Lake Auto bought the dealership in Lewistown, Pa., on Dec. 2 from R. Edward Arnold, who retired. The dealership was renamed Lake Chrysler-Dodge-Jeep-Ram.
Luke Lake is the sole owner of the dealership. He's a partner with his father, Bill Lake, at the group's two other stores: Lake Ford and Lake Chevrolet-Buick-GMC, both in Lewistown, which also is where the group is based. Lewistown is in central Pennsylvania and around 30 miles southeast of State College, home to Pennsylvania State University.
"My dad has been in the car business a long time, and I just wanted to do something on my own, basically to stand on my own two feet," Luke Lake told Automotive News.
Dealer lawyer Peter Bauer in Harrisburg, Pa., advised Luke Lake on the purchase.