December 6, 2022

r43dscartex

automotive

Ford, Chevy and Chevy-Buick dealerships sell in Q1 acquisitions

Wheelers Family Auto Group, led by a brother-and-sister team who grew up in the auto retail business, last month purchased Charles Automotive Inc., a Chevrolet-Buick dealership in Coloma, Wis.

The Wheelers on March 1 bought the dealership, renamed Wheelers Chevrolet-Buick, from Charles Plach.

It’s the Wheelers’ fifth new-car dealership, all in Central Wisconsin, and all with General Motors franchises. Mary Jo Wheeler-Schueller is president and dealer principal, and Daniel Wheeler is CFO for the group. Wheeler-Schueller also chairs the GM Women’s Dealer Advisory Council.

Wheelers, based in Marshfield, Wis., also has a used-car dealership in Abbotsford, Wis., two body shops, and a standalone Wheelers auto repair and tire center in Marshfield.

Wheeler-Schueller said in a phone interview that her family and the seller had known each other for many years.

“I think it goes a long way, if you’ve got a good relationship with the neighboring dealers,” she said. “We don’t work through brokers.”

Wheeler-Schueller said GM has recognized Wheelers Family Auto as an “early adopter” of electric vehicles and the family business is participating in a GM effort to build publicly available EV charging stations at dealerships.

She said the Level 2 charger at Wheelers Chevrolet of Merrill, Wis., is one of a just a few opportunities for EV drivers to recharge between Minneapolis and Northern Wisconsin or Michigan’s Upper Peninsula.

“We all love EVs and what they can do, but the problem is, the infrastructure is not there,” she said. “We can use dealerships to help implement that.”