Serra Automotive Group of Fenton, which is among the top 10 privately owned dealership groups in the country, has expanded its empire with the acquisition of Buff Whalen Chevrolet in Sterling Heights, the highest-volume Chevrolet store in the United States.
Terms of the transaction, which closed Monday, were not disclosed. The dealership has been rebranded Serra Whalen Chevrolet with temporary signage and an updated website.
According to the DBusiness magazine 2020 Auto Dealership Consumer Guide, Buff Whalen Chevrolet sold or leased 5,775 vehicles in 2019 to set the pace for the brand. The outlet continued to lead the way in sales for Chevrolet in 2020, as it has since 2017. It has been the sales leader in Michigan since 2001.
Serra Automotive ranks in the top 25 of most rankings of dealer groups. It had new vehicle sales of 32,070 in 2019.
“Serra Whelan Chevrolet will become our eighth Chevrolet point,” said Joseph O. Serra, president of Serra Automotive, in an email to staff. “From an organizational standpoint, I am thrilled about this new acquisition as the Chevrolet brand is awesome and being located in metro Detroit makes it even better.”
Buff Whelan Chevrolet was founded Robert “Buff” Whelan in 1970. Since 2004, after Whalen’s death, it was owned by his daughter, Kerry.
Albert M. Serra founded Serra Automotive in 1973 with a single Chevrolet store. Today, Serra Automotive operates in seven states and employs more than 2,100 people. The group includes 51 dealerships and represents 62 automotive franchises.