LaFontaine Automotive Group extends acquisition spree with addition of Superior Buick GMC

Jordyn Grzelewski
The Detroit News

LaFontaine Automotive Group, a Michigan-based car dealership group, said Friday that it has acquired Superior Buick GMC in Dearborn, the latest expansion for LaFontaine amid a broader dealership consolidation trend.

LaFontaine said this deal — financial terms of which were not disclosed — brings its count of Buick GMC dealerships to four. It most recently follows LaFontaine's acquisition of Signature Lincoln.

New Buick Encore SUV's displayed on the sales lot at the Albrecht Auto Group dealership, Tuesday, Aug. 3, 2021, in Wakefield, Mass.

And in what the company characterized as "an aggressive acquisition path," it said it has added 15 retail locations in Michigan in the last five years. In all, the group now includes 48 retail franchises, 10 collision centers and 28 Michigan retail locations. It represents the following brands: Buick, Cadillac, Chevrolet, Chrysler, Dodge, Ford, Fiat, Genesis, Honda, Hyundai, Jeep, KIA, Mazda, RAM, Polestar, Subaru, Toyota, Volvo and Volkswagen.

In a statement, LaFontaine CEO Ryan LaFontaine said there is a "tremendous opportunity in the Dearborn community and surrounding cities to grow and reestablish the Buick GMC brand."

"This dealership was a local powerhouse back in the day," he added, "and we are eager to reconnect with previous customers and deliver an unmatched customer experience — from sales to service, parts to body shop."

LaFontaine Automotive Group was founded in 1980 by Michael LaFontaine Sr. and Maureen LaFontaine. It reports that it sold 36,277 vehicles in 2020 and is ranked among the top 50 largest U.S. dealership groups.

Robert Simmons, executive general manager of General Motors Co. brands for LaFontaine, will add the new Dearborn location to the group of GM dealerships for which he is responsible. Shadrick Bennett will oversee day-to-day operations of the dealership as general manager, LaFontaine said in a news release.

LaFontaine's latest acquisition comes amid a broader consolidation among smaller, family-owned auto dealerships, as those groups see opportunities to cash out their businesses to larger groups looking to scale up as the automotive industry navigates a historic shift brought by electrification and technology.

Twitter: @JGrzelewski