One of Canada’s largest dealership group is stepping into the U.S. market with the acquisition of a luxury dealership in Sterling, Va., on the outskirts of Washington D.C.
The Dilawri Group of Cos. in Toronto said it purchased Ferrari of Washington-Maserati of Washington for an undisclosed price, marking its “first strategic expansion” outside Canada.
The transaction closed last week and the dealership will retain its name, said Virginie Aubert, a spokeswoman for the group, in an email to sibling publication Automotive News.
"We believe these dealerships will be an excellent opportunity to establish our presence in the U.S. market,” Kap Dilawri, the company’s co-founder, said in a release.
The two dealerships are housed in one building, but have separate entrances. The Ferrari side recently wrapped up renovations, she said.
The two dealerships sit on a four-acre site, with an adjacent storage lot that can hold more than 200 vehicles, Aubert said. The acquisition also adds the two brands to its portfolio, she said.
The seller of the dealerships wasn’t immediately available. But Aubert confirmed that the stores’ former dealer principal Chris Berlin was no longer with either dealership.
Berlin was named in 2018 by Automotive News as a 40 Under 40 honoree. He then was director of operations for a 13-store group in California and the Washington D.C. area.
Dilawri, the privately owned Canadian dealership group, now has more than 75 franchised dealerships in the U.S. and across five Canadian provinces.
Dilawri joins a growing list of Canadian dealership groups shifting their attention to expanding in the United States. Among others, Foundation Automotive, Knight Automotive Group and Steele Auto Group have each recently added to their U.S. footprints.
To head its new foothold in the U.S., Dilawri has tapped Ettore Gattolin, its current vice-president of mergers, acquisitions and special projects. Gattolin will become vice president of the dealership group’s U.S. operations.
Aubert said Dilawri has no other U.S. dealerships under contract to purchase.
"Our expansion into the U.S. market comes at an opportune time, as both manufacturers are planning to introduce strategically important new product offerings," Gattolin said in a statement.
Jack Walsworth and Melissa Burden contributed to this report.