Grand Blanc-based Serra Automotive Inc., one of the largest private dealership groups in the U.S., has purchased Sterling Heights-based Buff Whelan Chevrolet, the highest-volume Chevy store in the country.
Serra bought Buff Whelan in a transaction that closed Monday. Terms weren’t disclosed. The store has been rebranded Serra Whelan Chevrolet.
“Serra Whelan Chevrolet will become our eighth Chevrolet point,” Serra Automotive President Joe Serra said in an email to employees about the acquisition. “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 ranked No. 1 in retail new-vehicle sales in the country in 2020, General Motors confirmed. The dealership, named after founder Robert “Buff” Whelan, who launched it in 1970, said on its website that it has held the national Chevrolet sales crown since 2017 and has led Michigan Chevy sales since 2001.
The store was owned by Kerry Whelan, Buff Whelan’s daughter, who took over after his death in 2004.
The Serra organization has been growing. Last year, Serra purchased Honda and Mazda dealerships in Brighton, Mich., and Buick-GMC and Subaru stores in Savoy, Ill.
Serra, of Fenton, Mich., ranks No. 22 on Automotive News‘ list of the top 150 dealership groups based in the U.S., with retail sales of 32,070 new vehicles in 2019.