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Hertrich acquires two Newark dealerships

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The Hertrich Family of Automotive Dealerships recently acquired two Porter dealerships in Newark for at least $16.5 million. | PHOTO COURTESY OF HERTRICH

NEWARK – The Hertrich Family of Automobile Dealerships acquired the Porter Auto Group’s Nissan and Infiniti dealerships in Newark earlier this month, bringing the growing auto group to Delaware’s third largest city for the first time.

In addition to the dealerships, Hertrich will acquire the Porter Auto Body West repair shop also located on Auto Row off Cleveland Avenue in Newark. Meanwhile, Porter will retain its Newark Chevrolet, Ford and Hyundai dealerships.

The terms of the deal between the two private companies were not disclosed in a Nov. 1 announcement, although Hertrich paid at least $16.5 million for the property, according to county land records. The deal affects about 80 Porter employees.

Founded in Seaford in 1964, the family auto group led by Fred Hertrich IV now boasts 24 dealerships, 10 collision centers and 20 brands in Delaware, Maryland and southern Pennsylvania. He told Delaware Business Times that they are always looking at expansion prospects, and when they learned of Porter’s plans to sell, the opportunity to add another Nissan dealership in a top market was enticing.

“The facilities are stunning and sit in an ideal location. They house a wonderful team and a great customer base. Overall, it was just a wonderful chance to grow and serve our customers better,” he said.

The addition of the two Newark dealerships are the first new sales centers added since 2019, when Hertrich acquired Elkton Ford in Maryland. In the past year, however, the auto group has doubled its number of repair shops, further diversifying its holdings.

“For many years our business plan has centered around growth. The more we grow, the more options we are able to provide for customers and the more opportunities we create for our team members,” Hertrich IV said. “Our extensive experience with multiple brands, along with a wide-reaching infrastructure including plenty of real estate and building assets, makes us a great candidate to add new brands to our group. We are always looking for the opportunity to work with new franchises and look forward to partnering with the Infiniti brand.”

Hertrich IV said they don’t plan to make too many changes off the bat, as each of the three businesses have “a fantastic team at the helm and our goal is to give them the resources they need to succeed.”

For customers, they will offer the Hertrich Certified Pre-Owned program, providing a seven-year, 100,000-mile warranty on select used vehicles. They will also offer continuous training for technicians, giving employees the opportunity to grow in their career and giving customers the assurance that their vehicles are being serviced by a highly trained team.

Porter’s sale of its Newark dealerships after 22 years is also a sign of a changing Auto Row in Newark, which saw competing Sussex County-based I.G. Burton auto group buy Newark Chrysler Dodge Jeep and Ram in August – it also marked I.G. Burton’s first Newark dealership.

Gary Hendrixson, who owned and operated the dealership for more than 40 years, sold the dealership’s property for $7 million, according to county land records.

Meanwhile, Preston Automotive Group acquired Brandywine Chrysler Dodge Jeep Ram off Kirkwood Highway earlier this year, as the Maryland Eastern Shore -based rival of Hertrich made one of its most northern acquisitions to date.

Associate Editor Katie Tabeling contributed to this story.

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