Plymouth-based Van Horn Automotive Group
announced Tuesday it has acquired David Hobbs Honda
David Hobbs Honda, located at 6100 N. Green Bay Ave., is Van Horn's first Honda dealership and its first location in the metro Milwaukee area. As part of the acquisition deal, Van Horn plans to build a new state-of-the-art Honda facility within the next three years at the Glendale site. In the short term, it will increase capacity of the dealership, expanding its pre-owned vehicle selection to more than 200 units, according to a news release.
"We’ve been looking for an opportunity to enter the Milwaukee market and expand our customer base," said Jeff Niesen, president of Van Horn Automotive Group. "We’ve been selling vehicles to the Milwaukee area for a number of years but haven’t had a dealership point to service those vehicles."
The deal marks the end of three decades in business for David Hobbs Honda, which was founded in 1987 by British racing legend David Hobbs
and most recently operated by his son, Greg Hobbs
. The elder Hobbs fell in love with the Milwaukee area while spending time racing in Wisconsin during the 1960s, and his passion for driving Honda vehicles later turned into a business opportunity.
"Closing the doors of David Hobbs Honda after 35 years of dedication to our employees and community is extremely difficult for the Hobbs family," said Greg Hobbs, who served as managing director. "However, knowing the Van Horn family, their dedication to the employees and the community, makes it a lot easier and so the Hobbs family is proud to hand over the keys."
Leading up the acquisition, Van Horn had been in the market for a Honda dealership for several years, said Neisen, noting the Japanese brand as one of the most successful and reputable import brands in the U.S. What's more, the shared family-business values between the two dealerships was a major selling point.