Rafih Auto Group has purchased the four-store Eitel Dahm Motor Group Ltd. in metro Detroit.
Rafih Auto Group CEO Terry Rafih said the deal closes Monday. It involves BMW of Rochester Hills, Audi of Rochester Hills, Porsche of The Motor City in Eastpointe and Motor City Mini in Southfield.
“These are obviously great brands. We already have those brands in Canada. I’ve had them since 1989, so this was the perfect fit for us,” Rafih told Automotive News Canada.
Financial terms of the Rafih-Dahm deal were not disclosed.
A request for comment from Eitel Dahm COO Chris Consiglio was not immediately returned.
The deal expands Windsor, Ontario-based Rafish’s presence in the U.S. about two years after it bought a trio of luxury dealerships in Ohio from Bernie Moreno in 2019. The Cleveland-area dealerships sell Aston Martin, Bentley, Rolls Royce, Maserati, Porsche and Mercedes-Benz vehicles.
Like the Ohio stores, Rafih said expanding into Michigan makes geographical sense for the auto group, which is based just across the Detroit River. All four metro Detroit dealerships are within a roughly 45-minute drive from Windsor.
“It’s right across the border from my office,” said Rafih, who added that he is also “looking for other opportunities in the market.”
Rafih said he previously had a deal in the works for the Eitel Dahm stores just before the COVID-19 pandemic struck early last year. The pandemic sent that deal “off the tracks,” Rafih said, leading the Dahm group to instead make a deal to sell its stores to the Napleton Group, which ranks No. 13 on Automotive News’ list of the top 150 U.S. dealership groups.
“Then that fell apart, so we came back. And here we are closing the deal today,” Rafih said Monday.
The Napleton deal collapsed after Volkswagen of America sued the group late last year. VW sought to keep Napleton from purchasing Dahm’s Audi dealership, as well as Audi and VW stores from Wyoming Valley Motors in Pennsylvania. VW and Napleton both allege the other party of being in violation of a 2018 settlement agreement relating to the automaker’s diesel emissions scandal.
According to court filings, Audi notified Napleton on Nov. 20 that it was rejecting the deal for Audi of Rochester Hills, almost a month after the automaker received a copy of a purchase agreement between Dahm and Napleton. Dahm wrote to Napleton on Dec. 3, requesting that the deal be terminated so it could “move forward with another buyer,” according to a Dec. 7 filing.