Dorsett Automotive acquires Dodge-Ram store in Indiana

Brian Dorsett, a former MLB catcher, added a third franchised store to his Dorsett Automotive Group with the acquisition of Vigo Dodge-Ram in Terre Haute, Ind.

He purchased the Western Indiana store from Michael Tom in a deal that Dorsett said closed on Jan. 23. The store is now named Dorsett Dodge-Ram.

Dorsett first played for the Cleveland Guardians (known then as the Indians) in 1987, and later for the Los Angeles Angels, New York Yankees, San Diego Padres, Cincinnati Reds and Chicago Cubs. He retired from baseball in 1997.

The Dorsett family has been in the car business since 1958, at first selling primarily used cars before expanding into franchises, Dorsett told Automotive News. Driven by a “growth mindset,” the group has since acquired Nissan and Hyundai-Mitsubishi stores.

Dorsett said the group “felt like it would be good for business to have the Ram truck franchise, as well as Dodge, in the stable.”

Most of the staff has been retained, while salespeople and three new managers have been added, he said.

The group does not have any transactions pending, but it is “always open” to acquisition opportunities, Dorsett said.

Wilkins adds second store in California

Jason Wilkins, of Rancho Automotive Group, and a partner, on Nov. 1 purchased Yucca Valley Chrysler-Dodge-Jeep-Ram in California, from Don McCredie, according to Performance Brokerage Services, an Irvine, Calif., buy-sell firm that represented the seller in the transaction and facilitated the deal.

This is Wilkins’ second dealership and first Stellantis store. He also owns Victorville Mitsubishi, which he purchased in 2020.

“The Stellantis product portfolio is a great fit for the California market, from the breadth of the Jeep portfolio to the Ram trucks and upcoming EV and [plug-in hybrid] vehicles,” Wilkins, president of the Yucca Valley dealership, told Automotive News in an email. “We really like their plan moving forward and how it fits with consumer demand.”

McCredie retired from the car business following the sale, according to Performance Brokerage Services. The firm said McCredie had been semiretired since 2009, but opted to get back into the business in 2020 when he purchased the Yucca Valley dealership.

Live Oak Bank handled the capital for the acquisition, which Wilkins said allowed him to leverage the real estate and dealership purchase into an attractive financing package. He also consulted with Biltmore Automotive Services throughout the transaction.

The dealership’s name is now Joshua Tree Chrysler-Dodge-Jeep-Ram. The store sells approximately 360 new vehicles and 700 used vehicles annually, Wilkins said. Most of its 30 employees have been retained.

Previously, the Wilkins family owned two other dealerships, Victorville Nissan and Victorville Chevrolet-Cadillac in California, according to Performance Brokerage Services. The Nissan store was sold in 2004 while the Chevrolet-Cadillac store was sold in 2019, Wilkins said.

Wilkins said he is planning on expanding as he finds additional dealerships that align with his business plan.

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