Burt Watson group buys Ford store in Michigan

Burt Watson Auto Group has added a third store to its portfolio and its first Ford dealership.

Owner Richard Watson IV purchased Dean Arbour Ford in Pinconning, Mich., from Matt Arbour and sister Colleen Arbour Chapleski on May 3.

Terms of the deal weren’t disclosed. The store has been renamed Burt Watson Ford.

The third-generation group has a Chevrolet store in Freeland, Mich., its flagship dealership dating to the 1960s, and a Chevrolet-Buick dealership in Reese, Mich., that it acquired in 2018.

Watson said he learned in the fall that the Ford dealership was available. He said he thought it would be a great opportunity to buy a Ford store, and he is hoping to grow its sales.

“We’re looking at expanding and just kind of growing our power as a group,” Watson told Automotive News. “Nowadays, you’re either kind of growing, or you’re dying. We want to continue to grow.”

Dean Arbour Auto Group dates to 1970, when John Dean Arbour acquired his first store, the Ford dealership in Pinconning. The group has Ford dealerships in West Branch and Tawas City, a Ford-Lincoln store in Alpena and a Chevrolet-Cadillac store in East Tawas, all in Michigan, according to its website.

Brad Bickle of Tim Lamb Group, a dealership buy-sell firm in Columbus, Ohio, represented the seller in the transaction.

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