Kaplan Auto adds Volkswagen dealership, again
Kaplan Auto Group welcomed Volkswagen back into its portfolio in a December deal that also added a fifth New Hampshire location for the company.
On Dec. 15, the group bought Volkswagen of Rochester from Dwight Wissler and his son, Jordan Wissler, according to Nancy Phillips Associates, which represented the sellers in the transaction.
“It’s my first Volkswagen store,” Sheree Kaplan-Allen, the group’s president, told Automotive News. “And my father was one of the first Volkswagen dealers in the country back in 1955, so it’s very exciting to be back with the brand.”
Renamed Rochester Volkswagen, the store is a quick walk from Rochester Toyota, which the group purchased in December 2021, Kaplan-Allen said.
Kaplan Auto acquired a Subaru store in Claremont, N.H., in September. Its latest purchase gives the group seven dealerships selling Jaguar, Land Rover, Subaru, Mercedes-Benz, Toyota and Volkswagen brands in New Hampshire, Massachusetts and Rhode Island.
Kaplan-Allen’s father, Jake Kaplan, started the company in the 1950s. She took it over when he died in 1991, buying it outright in 1993. Kaplan-Allen’s son Eddy Allen, a 2022 Automotive News 40 under 40 honoree who just celebrated a decade with the company, is vice president of sales for Kaplan Auto of Warwick, R.I.
Wissler and his son purchased the Volkswagen store 12 years ago, according to Nancy Phillips Associates.
“The decision wasn’t easy, but my father and I decided that the timing was right and the values in line with taking a new direction in our lives,” Jordan Wissler said in a statement.
Kaplan-Allen said she hopes to close more deals this year.
“I’d like to get to 12 [stores],” she said.
Atlantic Automotive expands into New York City
Atlantic Automotive Group expanded in New York City when on Oct. 19 it purchased Bay Ridge Chevrolet in Brooklyn from BRAM Auto Group, Robert Dito, CFO for Atlantic Automotive, said. Although it operates independently, Dito confirmed to Automotive News, Atlantic Automotive is part of Staluppi Auto Group, one of the largest dealership groups in the country.
The dealership was renamed Advantage Chevrolet.
“We weren’t out shopping too much,” Dito said. “The deal just kind of fell in our lap.”
Atlantic Automotive became interested after hearing BRAM Auto wanted to divest its Brooklyn dealerships selling Audi, Nissan and Chevrolet brands, Dito said.
BRAM Auto sold the Audi and Nissan stores to Empire Automotive Group in separate October transactions.
“We were interested in the Chevrolet store,” Dito said. “We looked at it and it felt like the right fit for us since we already had the two Chevrolet stores.”
Those stores are in Bay Shore, N.Y., and Hempstead, N.Y. Atlantic Automotive, of West Islip, N.Y., on Long Island, operates more than 10 dealerships selling Hyundai, Toyota, Honda, Kia and Genesis brands in multiple New York cities.
Staluppi Auto of North Palm Beach, Fla., ranks No. 11 on Automotive News’ top 150 dealership groups list, retailing 44,553 new vehicles in 2021.