Canada’s Knight Automotive purchases 3rd California dealership

Canadian auto retailer Knight Automotive Group purchased a Stellantis dealership in Claremont, Calif., on June 15 from John Elway Dealership Group, sibling publication Automotive News reported Tuesday.

It marks Knight Automotive’s third U.S. store, all in California.

The former John Elway’s Claremont Chrysler-Dodge-Jeep-Ram was renamed Knight Claremont Chrysler Dodge-Jeep-Ram. Claremont is east of Los Angeles.

Knight Automotive purchased Sunrise Ford Fontana and Sunrise Ford North Hollywood, both in Southern California, in December.

Western Canada’s Knight Automotive, headed by Kevin Knight, has locations in Saskatchewan and British Columbia. Braeden Mueller, vice president of Knight Automotive, said the Claremont dealership’s location made it a good choice for Knight Automotive.

“We have a lot of Stellantis stores in Canada, we’re very familiar with the brand,” Mueller told Automotive News. “Then, logistically it made a lot of sense. It’s right off I-10 and in between our two Ford stores.”

The 65,000-square-foot dealership opened in 2017, according to Performance Brokerage Services, a buy-sell firm in Irvine, Calif., that represented Knight Automotive in the transaction. Jason Stopnitzky, co-founder of the firm, was the broker.

“It’s a brand-new facility from the previous ownership group. But it’s all been renovated over two years,” Mueller said. “We’ve also retained everyone that wanted to stay within the group.”

Mueller said Knight Automotive will continue to look to expand in California.

Elway, a former NFL star and longtime Denver Broncos quarterback, owns several dealerships with partners. Elway got into auto retailing years ago, selling numerous stores in 1997 to Republic Industries Inc., which later became AutoNation Inc.

John Elway Dealership Group of Englewood, Colo., ranks No. 102 on Automotive News‘ list of the top 150 dealership groups in the United States, retailing 10,120 new vehicles in 2021.

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