A Canadian duo has purchased its first U.S. dealership, snapping up a store in Illinois after failing to find a suitable buy in Michigan, opening the door to further expansion in the United States.
After more than two decades, Chip Banks on May 26 sold his only dealership, Chip Banks Chevrolet-Buick in Du Quoin, Ill., to business partners Scott Elliott and Mike Bezzoubkin of Canada.
Now named Du Quoin Chevrolet-Buick, it's the first U.S. dealership acquisition for Elliott and Bezzoubkin. Du Quoin is southeast of St. Louis.
The pair owns one other dealership, Amherstburg Chevrolet-Buick-GMC in Amherstburg, Ont., which they purchased in 2016.
That dealership sits along the Detroit River, about 20 minutes from the Windsor-Detroit crossing. Elliott told sibling publication Automotive News he and Bezzoubkin had been looking for dealerships to buy in Michigan for their expansion, but learned about Banks' dealership opportunity from Paul Kechnie of Performance Brokerage Services.
"We went down there to look at it and knew it was going to fit our need," said Elliott, who co-owns the Illinois store with Bezzoubkin. "And it opens up the Midwest for us and for our business here in Canada."
Kechnie, who represented Banks in the sale, told Automotive News that Banks, the dealership's original owner, wanted to retire.