Bergstrom Automotive is set to acquire Broadway Automotive, a dealership group serving the Green Bay market in Wisconsin.
The new acquisition will give Bergstrom Automotive ownership of Broadway Chevrolet-Volkswagen, Broadway Ford-Hyundai-Genesis and Broadway Manitowoc. With more than 1,000 employees, Broadway Automotive, currently operated by Michael Cuene and David Cuene, has sold vehicles in the state since 1916. While the two family-owned dealership groups have competed for the Wisconsin market for decades, both have remained on good terms. “Our families have been friends while competing over the years and we have always held the Cuene family in high regard for doing what was right when it came to business practices,” commented John F. Bergstrom, the business’s CEO. Although the merger was announced on Tuesday, the locations have yet to officially exchange hands. The transaction is expected to be finished before September.
The acquisition is the latest in a string of purchases across the country. M&A activity in retail automotive is seeing a surge as dealers return to the market after many suspended growth efforts during the COVID pandemic. Until now, Bergstrom Automotive had not purchased a store since 2020. Similarly, Zeigler Auto Group, which recently acquired Elhart Automotive, had not acquired a new dealership since 2021. The reason for this rising demand is likely tied to the strong performance of the car market in 2023. Sales, pricing and inventory have been surprisingly strong, despite normalizing conditions within the industry. As economic headwinds such as inflation, loan access and interest rates improve, the pace of M&A may accelerate even more before the year’s end. Regardless, car dealers must still be aware of what buyers are looking for. Staying up to date on the trends affecting dealership groups will be crucial for store owners looking to sell in the coming months.