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GREELEY — McDonald Toyota, a Littleton-based automotive dealership, has acquired two dealerships from Greeley-based Ehrlich Motors.
The accretion includes Ehrlich Toyota of Greeley and Fort Morgan, and the Chrysler, Dodge, Jeep and Ram abundance in Fort Morgan. Ehrlich’s Toyota of Laramie dealership in Laramie, Wyoming, was not allotment of the deal; nor was the I-25 Kia dealership at Longmont, which Ehrlich owns calm with Phil Marzolf.
Ehrlich CEO Scott Ehrlich said he had not been attractive to sell, but the befalling presented itself.
“I would say this: In my career, things aloof happened, you know? I approved to accomplish acceptable abiding decisions, but sometimes an befalling comes along, and you aloof adjudge to do it,” Ehrlich said, adding, “I had a acceptable buyer.”
Ehrlich said he would absorb affairs of I-25 Kia and Toyota of Laramie.
Buyer of the Greeley and Fort Morgan dealerships was McDonald Holdings Inc., which does business as McDonald Automotive Group.
Like Ehrlich Motors, the McDonald dealerships were formed in the 1940s by the grandfathering of the company’s accepted president, Michael McDonald. The ancestors originally operated in New Mexico and confused operations to the Denver breadth in 1964. Prior to the Ehrlich purchase, the aggregation operated Volvo, Mazda, Volkswagen, Hyundai, Genesis and Audi dealerships, best in the Littleton area. It opened a bazaar Polestar electric car abundance in Cherry Creek this month. Polestar is Volvo’s access into the EV market.
“We’re aflame about this market,” said Steve Powers, carnality admiral of operations for the McDonald Group. Powers will serve as acting accepted administrator at the dealerships it aloof acquired until the aggregation settles on its administration structure. He said that longtime Ehrlich accepted administrator John Motschall will breach on with the company.
“We had opportunities in southern Colorado, but we chose Northern Colorado for a agglomeration of reasons,” Powers said. “The demographics are strong.”
Powers said the aggregation “has aspirations for added dealerships” in the arena and is alive on abeyant deals appropriate now.
Ehrlich said McDonald represented a acceptable fit with the Ehrlich culture.
“They’re a acceptable ancestors that has a lot of agnate ethics as I do, I believe,” he said. “But they accept a fourth bearing advancing into the business, and none of my kids were interested. They still accept the approaching bearing advancing in, and I didn’t.”
Ehrlich’s automotive history in the Greeley breadth dates aback to 1946, aback Reuben “Swede” Ehrlich founded Swede’s Repair Shop in LaSalle. That eventually acquired into a alternation of dealerships, with Swede’s sons, Scott and Stan, demography over the ancestors business in the aboriginal 1980s.
“He [Swede] became a new-car banker in 1963, with Datsun, and the acumen is, he couldn’t allow a boilerplate dealership, and cipher knew what Datsun was,” Ehrlich said. “That’s how he was advantageous abundant to get a new-car dealership, and again it became a acceptable asset, and I was advantageous abundant to be able to acquisition added opportunities and alpha redeploying my capital.”
Ehrlich said he’s completed a dozen buy-sell agreements over the years, affairs some dealerships and accepting others.
“I’m not new to affairs and selling,” he said. “Basically, I’ve done a cardinal of affairs and selling. I wasn’t consistently a buyer, and I wasn’t consistently a seller. And I absolutely didn’t breach in one place.”
Ehrlich has become accepted in Greeley and Northern Colorado for his altruistic endeavors, including founding the College Promise scholarship program.
“I anticipate it was array of the bolt of the association in Greeley, and abnormally some of the bodies that I was around. It was the appropriate affair to do,” he said. “I anticipate it’s acceptable to accord back.”
Ehrlich accustomed the Northern Colorado Business Report’s Bravo! Entrepreneur accolade in 2002, was called a Weld County Distinguished Citizen by the Boy Scouts of America Longs Peak Council in 2013 and was inducted into the Colorado Automotive Hall of Fame in 2015, amid added honors.
He said the auction of the two dealerships to McDonald does not beggarly he’s retiring.
“What is retirement?” Ehrlich said. “I’m not abiding area aggregate is activity to booty me. I’m 59 years old. I don’t apperceive how abundant … I don’t anticipate I appetite to booty as abundant accident as I’ve taken in the past, but I apperceive that I’ll apparently abide to appetite to accomplishment the appropriate opportunities.”
But Ehrlich said that is not acceptable to accommodate addition purchase.
“More likely, no,” he said. “I mean, I’m not activity to say ‘no,’ but at my age, I’m absolutely not aggravating to breach new ground.”
Ehrlich bidding acknowledgment to Ehrlich’s barter and advisers over the years.
“I feel so adored to accept been in Northern Colorado, and I absolutely acknowledge all of our barter and all of our employees,” he said. “It’s tough. I’m no best activity to be allotment of the Greeley or Northern Colorado market, and it’s been a great, abundant abode to be, and I’m aloof absolutely beholden for everybody I’ve been able to assignment with over the years.”
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