Fagan acquires GMC, Buick franchises
WCLO's Stan Stricker reports on the sale of Rock County Buick GMC to Fagan Chevrolet Cadillac
JANESVILLE A deal announced Tuesday positions one Janesville auto dealership as the exclusive seller of General Motors’ products and leaves another to focus solely on the sales of Honda cars and trucks.
Officials at Fagan Chevrolet-Cadillac and Rock County Buick Pontiac GMC said Fagan’s acquisition of the Buick and GMC franchises is a positive move for customers, employees and the community.
The Fagan dealership ultimately will be renamed, although it will retain the name of the Fagan family that has been in the car business since 1945 and in Janesville since 1975.
The former Rock County Buick Pontiac GMC is now known as Rock County Honda.
“It really is a win-win situation,” said Dick Stockwell, president of the family dealership that traces its roots in Janesville to 1939. “My growth has been and will continue to be with Honda.”
Fagan vice president Bob Clapper said the GM that emerged from bankruptcy last year wants to see it four brands—Chevrolet, Cadillac, Buick and GMC—sold at single dealerships.
It’s the most recent version of GM’s consolidation of its remaining brands. Previously, GM had pushed for a consolidation of Buick, Pontiac and GMC brands at a single dealership.
Stockwell has had the Buick and GMC franchise in Janesville for years. He acquired the Pontiac franchise in 2008 from Everhart-O’Leary Motors.
“This might have been different if GM had not gone into bankruptcy,” Stockwell said. “For 12 years, GM encouraged me to be a (Buick, Pontiac, GMC) dealer, and then 60 days after I became one they pulled the plug on Pontiac.”
Stockwell said the Pontiac brand that GM discontinued will be gone later this year.
He said he’s not bitter about selling the Buick and GMC franchises to Fagan.
He, Clapper and Fagan president Jim Fagan said the deal was easy to put together and will benefit both dealerships.
“We’ve been friendly competitors for years, and this way everything is staying local,” Fagan said.
The two dealerships anchor the intersection of East Milwaukee Street and Wright Road on the city’s east side.
Rock County transferred 24 Buicks and GMCs across the street to the Fagan lot Tuesday.
The two dealerships employee about 140 people, and neither dealership expects any staffing losses, the men said.
“We’re going to grow our Honda business and add inventory,” Stockwell said. “Everyone here will concentrate on Honda and used cars.”
Rock County will continue to service GM vehicles.
“We have loyal customers of our body shop and service department, just as they do at Fagan’s,” Stockwell said.
Stockwell has no plans to move the dealership to the property he bought from Everhart-O’Leary on Milton Avenue, he said.
Clapper said the acquisition comes at a good time. The dealership was preparing to remodel, and now it can do so with all of GM’s brands on board.
Plans call for a likely expansion of the showroom and office area at the dealership.
“This will certainly increase our volume,” Clapper said.
“I’m ecstatic,” Fagan said. “In addition to adding to our customer count, this gives my employees added job stability and security.”
Fagan, Clapper and Stockwell said the deal comes as auto sales start to rebound from last year.
“I think we’re all seeing more activity,” Fagan said. “It’s not what I would call robust, but it’s starting to improve.”