Bob Johnson

On Tuesday, Bob Johnson Auto Group announced that they’ve purchased all nine dealerships in the Dorschel Automotive Group. The Dorschel dealerships are all located along W Henrietta Blvd in Rochester, NY and are interspersed with many of the stores in the Bob Johnson group already. The sale adds a handful of high-volume brands to their banner including Toyota, Volkswagen, Nissan, and Kia as well as premium or niche brands such as Infiniti, Lexus, Maserati, Alfa Romeo, and MINI. Dorschel’s pre-owned store is also included.

The purchase expands the Bob Johnson Auto Group’s payroll to more than 1,200 people overnight, and all current staff at the Dorschel dealerships are being retained. In addition, more than 50 positions are open in the group.

In a statement on Tuesday, Rick Dorschel remarked, “After 74 years on the Rochester automotive scene, the Dorschel family is exiting the car business, having sold our company and facilities to the Bob Johnson Auto Group. It is with deep gratitude that the Dorschel family thanks all of our staff (past and present), customers, vendors, and the Rochester community at large, for their loyalty, consideration, support, and friendship for three-quarters of a century. We have been blessed to have had the opportunity to partner with and service you and we thank you, very, very much!”

John Dorschel started in the car business in the 1940s and the family has grown the business since then.

The Bob Johnson Auto Group was founded in 1981 and moved to Rochester in 1985. It was sold by Robert Johnson to current owners, John Love and Greg Stahl, in 2001. It quickly grew in size and number, and it boasts the best-selling GM dealership in the nation.

With this purchase, their dealer group establishes a dominant presence on Rochester’s W Henrietta Blvd with 17 storefronts. In a news release on Tuesday, the group said the acquisition “further cements the Bob Johnson Auto Group’s position as one of the largest family-owned dealership groups in the U.S.”

The latest moves for the group

Acquisitions seem to be becoming a regular occurrence for Bob Johnson Auto Group. In 2020, Love and Stahl purchased two dealerships from the Prime Auto Group – Genesee Valley Ford and Genesee Valley Chrysler Dodge Jeep Ram – as well as Marketplace Mazda.

In the fall, Stahl stated, “We’re always seeking to grow and improve what we offer our employees and customers. Our recent expansion allows us to build on our success in serving customer’s auto needs while continuing to invest in our region and grow our overall position in the products we represent.”

M&A extremely hot in auto industry

With incredible profits being realized, dealership valuations are at an all-time high right now. It’s led to a “historic” first half of the year.

Erin Kerrigan, founder and managing director of Kerrigan Advisors, said in a news release for the First Quarter 202 Blue Sky Report, “The once-in-a-lifetime environment that made 2020 a record year for the automotive buy/sell market was extended, and amplified, by auto retail’s tremendous profitability in Q1 [2020], fueling a historic level of acquisition activity.

“As COVID cases diminished, U.S. consumers emerged from the pandemic with a tremendous amount of capital from savings and government stimulus, as well as great demand for personal mobility,” Kerrigan continued. “This demand, coupled with limited supply, drove dealership profitability to new heights in the first quarter, topping what many thought was an unsurpassable fourth quarter.”

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