Premier Automotive, partners buy 3 dealerships in California, Texas and Georgia

Premier Automotive, partners buy 3 dealerships in California, Texas and Georgia

Troy Duhon and his bustling Premier Automotive Group, along with partners, acquired three new dealerships and expanded into a new state in second- and third-quarter transactions, Premier Automotive CMO Gia Katzenmeyer confirmed to Automotive News.

Duhon, with partners Vincent Castro and Jorge Clue, on June 5 purchased the former Hyundai of Moreno Valley, east of Los Angeles.

Castro and Clue each have an undisclosed ownership stake in the renamed Premier Hyundai of Moreno Valley, while Clue is general manager, Katzenmeyer said in an email.

« Castro has been with Premier Automotive since its inception in 1995, » Katzenmeyer said. « He’s the partner in numerous dealerships under the Premier umbrella. »

Texas store

The New Orleans group also bolstered its Texas presence on Aug. 3 when Duhon, with partners Randon Blacklock and Rick Martinez, purchased the former Littlefield Chevrolet-Buick-GMC, northwest of Lubbock.

Blacklock and Martinez have undisclosed ownership stakes in the store renamed Premier Chevrolet-GMC of Littlefield and Martinez is general manager. Katzenmeyer said Blacklock and Martinez also are partners with Premier at other Texas stores.

Katzenmeyer said confidentiality agreements prohibit Premier from disclosing the sellers of the California and Texas stores.

A LinkedIn profile for Michael Brown lists him as president of Hyundai of Moreno Valley and Brown is listed under owners, qualified managers and principals on California’s Bureau of Automotive Repair website providing licensing information for Hyundai of Moreno Valley.

Brown did not immediately return a message seeking comment and a Hyundai spokesman referred Automotive News to Premier Automotive.

The Lamb County Leader-News, in a May 2022 article, identified Tim Capps as the then-owner of Littlefield Chevrolet-Buick-GMC. Capps did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

Katzenmeyer said Buick did not come with the Littlefield store acquisition. Buick in 2022 announced it would offer buyouts for dealers who didn’t want to make necessary investments for electric vehicles.

Premier Automotive’s most recent transaction involved another familiar face: Tim Barnett.

Georgia acquisition

Duhon with Barnett on Aug. 17 purchased the former Steve Rayman Nissan Auto Mall of Georgia, in Buford, from a retiring Steve Rayman.

Barnett is a partner with an undisclosed ownership stake in that store, Katzenmeyer said.

Rayman said in a statement that he appreciates Premier’s reputation for giving back and his past relationship with Barnett helped aid the deal.

« Once I fully decided on retiring at 70 years old, it gave me trust that I could step away knowing the store was in the most capable and caring hands, » Rayman said in the statement.

Renamed Premier Nissan Mall of Georgia, the store is northeast of Atlanta and is Premier Automotive’s first in Georgia.

Premier Automotive has added seven dealerships and entered three new states this year, with Virginia and Mississippi being the others.

Duhon and Barnett partnered to buy three dealerships in Virginia in February. And in March, Duhon and Premier acquired a 49 percent stake in the former Charlie Henderson Ford in Waveland, Miss., with partner Anthony Legeaux, who has a 51 percent stake in the store now called Premier Ford.

Duhon told Automotive News in an email that he finds working with partners helpful, especially when opening new stores.

« For the first time in my automotive career, we are seeing heritage and generational stores coming available … and we have been blessed with an amazing team of partners who have the experience and excitement to step into these stores immediately and be successful, » Duhon said.

Duhon said finding a dealership acquisition isn’t the challenge but having « a well-groomed and prepared team to operate these stores properly and profitably as we have been, is the key. »

Premier Automotive ranks No. 43 on Automotive News’ list of the top 150 dealership groups in the U.S., retailing 18,792 new vehicles in 2022.

And the growing group doesn’t plan on slowing down.

« The Premier acquisition team remains very busy and active, with more acquisitions to be announced, » Katzenmeyer said.

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