Long-Lewis Automotive buys 1, sells 3 stores

This post was originally published on AutomotiveNews.com

Long-Lewis Automotive Group, of Tuscumbia, Ala., had an active spring and summer with buy-sell transactions, selling three dealerships and purchasing one.

Todd Ouellette Sr., CEO and majority shareholder of Long-Lewis Automotive, told Automotive News that his strategy was “a quest for scale and efficiency,” seeking to increase his group’s footprint in bigger markets.

Business partners Hussein Mawani and Nooris Merchant, co-owners of Merchant Automotive Group in Birmingham, Ala., purchased two dealerships in the state from Long-Lewis Automotive in June.

Long-Lewis Honda of Selma and Long-Lewis Ford of Selma were renamed Merchant Honda and Merchant Ford. Mawani said in a phone interview that he is dealer principal of the Honda store, and Merchant is dealer principal of the Ford store.

The Selma dealerships are the duo’s second and third new-vehicle stores. The partners bought a Nissan dealership in Troy, Ala., in January 2022.

Mawani said they already owned Birmingham Luxury Motors, a used-only dealership, since 2015.

The partners were attracted by the opportunity to purchase dealerships for large-volume brands with a full lineup of light trucks, Mawani said. “Selling trucks in southern Alabama? It’s a no-brainer,” he said.

In addition, he said Selma is a desirable location, considering their other properties. It is about 85 miles from Troy and about the same distance from Birmingham, he said.

Long-Lewis also sold Long-Lewis Ford of Corinth in Mississippi to Craig Denney. He renamed it Ford of Corinth.

That transaction closed May 31, Denney said in phone interview, adding it helped increase his presence in Corinth and gave him a more diverse group of brands.

Denney said he owns two other dealerships, Nissan of Gadsden in Alabama and a dualed store in Corinth that sells Nissan and Chrysler-Dodge-Jeep-Ram vehicles.

Gerrick Wilkins, vice president and buyer’s broker representative for Dealer Support Network, represented the buyers in both transactions. Dealer Support Network has offices in Winnsboro, Texas, and Leeds, Ala.

Meanwhile, Ouellette said his group on July 10 bought Greenway Chevrolet of the Shoals in Tuscumbia from Greenway Automotive, of Orlando. The dealership was renamed Long-Lewis Chevrolet of the Shoals. Tuscumbia is in northern Alabama.

The Chevy dealership purchase was a good fit with the Tuscumbia location and the Long-Lewis group’s growth strategy, Ouellette said.
Long-Lewis has seven dealerships across Alabama, and some have been honored as part of Automotive NewsBest Dealerships To Work For program.

“We already have Ford, VW and Mitsubishi in this market, and our corporate headquarters is also located here,” said Ouellette, a past Time Dealer of the Year nominee. “This acquisition just made sense as it relates to our quest for more scale and efficiency.”

The selling dealer was Carl Atkinson, Ouellette said. Atkinson could not be reached for comment.

Greenway Automotive ranks No. 17 on Automotive Newslist of the top 150 dealership groups based in the U.S., retailing 31,064 new vehicles in 2022.