Waukesha-based Darrow Automotive Group, which owns dealerships in North Carolina, Georgia and Illinois, recently agreed to acquire six dealerships in the Augusta, Ga., market. Financial terms of the deal, set to close in September, were not disclosed. When the transaction closes, Darrow Automotive Group will own BMW, Infiniti, Jaguar, Land Rover and Hyundai dealerships in the Augusta market, along with a used car dealership, said Russ Darrow III, president and chief executive officer of Darrow Automotive Group.
Rick Taylor, co-owner of the Augusta dealerships, will become a Darrow Automotive Group employee after the purchase closes, helping to run the BMW dealership, Darrow said. The Waukesha-based company does not currently own any dealerships in Wisconsin. Darrow divested his interest in his family’s auto dealerships in October 2006, when he started Darrow Automotive Group. "We want to grow in the southeast part of the U.S. with import lines in growth markets," Darrow said.
Georgia and North Carolina are both attractive markets because of the growth in those regions, Darrow said. In July, Darrow will close on two import dealerships in the Charlotte area, he said. "We’ve come to like that market (the Southeast) a lot," he said. "The government is adding billions to the military base there, an energy plant there is adding 15,000 jobs. The university is doubling the size of its campus. The local economy is very good. There’s dynamic growth. That’s why we’re going to those markets." However, the company isn’t likely to move its corporate headquarters from Waukesha, Darrow said. And while his company has not yet acquired a Wisconsin dealership, Darrow said it continues to look for the right dealer to buy. "I enjoyed being in the business (here) for more than 20 years," he said. "If the right opportunity – with the right lines and in the right market, I will be there." For more, visit www.darrowusa.com.