Highland Township-based LaFontaine Automotive Group has announced the acquisition of Ralph Thayer Automotive in Livonia. Financial details of the transaction were not disclosed.
The Thayer organization includes Hyundai, Mazda, and Volkswagen franchises, and the dealerships have been renamed LaFontaine Hyundai of Livonia, LaFontaine Mazda of Livonia, and LaFontaine Volkswagen of Livonia.
With the new dealerships, LaFontaine has 44 retail franchises, six collision centers, and 25 Michigan retail locations.
“On behalf of my family and our passionate LaFontaine team, we are excited to welcome the employees and customers of Ralph Thayer Automotive into our LaFontaine family,” says Ryan LaFontaine, CEO of LaFontaine Automotive Group. “This strategic acquisition further strengthens our ability to serve customers in the greater Metro Detroit area — for sales, service, body shop, and parts.”
In October 2020, LaFontaine acquired Shuman Chrysler Dodge Jeep Ram of Walled Lake and Delehanty Ford in Flushing.
“After navigating all of the uncertainly throughout 2020 and into 2021, one thing that has remained consistent is my family’s commitment to our LaFontaine family of 1,800 plus employees to continue to expand our footprint and position us for continued growth,” adds LaFontaine. “We now have locations within 25 minutes of any city in metro Detroit, expanding our offering pickup and delivery for sales and service to hundreds of thousands of residents.”
Michael Law, who started with LaFontaine Automotive Group in 2003, will oversee the new LaFontaine Livonia Complex. He currently oversees LaFontaine’s Dearborn Import Complex, representing six franchises – Genesis, Hyundai, Kia, Toyota, Honda, and Volkswagen. “It is a true honor to take the helm and lead the dedicated team in Livonia. I look forward to welcoming everyone into our dealership and delivering a best-in-class automotive experience for our customers,” says Law.
Matt Szabla will be the new general sales manager for the new LaFontaine Livonia Complex. Szabla started with LaFontaine Automotive Group in 2013 and, in addition to his new role, currently has the same role at LaFontaine’s Dearborn Import Complex, working alongside Law.
“We are looking forward to pouring our passion into the Livonia community to foster lifelong relationships with residents and businesses alike, and with these new locations, we will be able to increase our support and make a greater impact on those living and working in the surrounding communities,” says Kelley LaFontaine, vice president of the LaFontaine Automotive Group.
Ralph Thayer Automotive had been a family owned and operated dealership serving southeast Michigan since 1971.
LaFontaine Automotive Group was founded in 1980 and now employs more than 1,800 people. The Group sold 36,277 vehicles in 2020 and is the 43rd largest dealer group in the U.S.