Friday, December 3rd, 2021

Group 1 takes hold of most Prime dealerships

“We are allowed to have a certain amount of stores in a geographic region, and, through this acquisition, we exceeded it,” said DeLongchamps, Group 1’s senior vice president of manufacturer relations, financial services and public affairs.

Prime is now under contract to sell the dropped store, Toyota Route 2 in Lancaster, Mass., to dealer Kurt Koch in the next few weeks, according to a source familiar with the plans. Koch, who owns several dealerships, did not respond to a request for comment.

The other store not yet purchased as intended is Prime Subaru of Manchester in New Hampshire. For now, Prime will continue to run that dealership.

Group 1 declined to comment on the situation involving the Subaru store, and an executive for Subaru of New England, the distributor overseeing the dealership, did not respond to a request for comment.
Group 1 did buy two other Subaru dealerships as part of the Prime transaction — one that required approval from the automaker itself, Subaru of America Inc., and the other from Subaru Distributors Corp., a distributor that covers parts of New York and New Jersey.

Prime’s only other remaining dealership — a Land Rover store in Hyannis, Mass., that was not part of the planned Group 1 transaction — closed last week. Customers were referred to Prime’s Land Rover store in Hanover, Mass., now owned by Group 1.

DeLongchamps declined to comment on adjustments to the purchase price given the changes.

Most of Prime’s executive management team, including CEO Todd Skelton and COO Pete Lebish, won’t move to Group 1, sources told Automotive News.

“We’ve retained their general managers, and the dealership operational teams are staying in place,” DeLongchamps said.

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