Local Kia, Acura dealerships change hands

Published: Wednesday, July 16, 2014 at 5:09 p.m.
Last Modified: Wednesday, July 16, 2014 at 5:09 p.m.

The owner of Gainesville Chevrolet has bought the Kia and Acura dealerships from the owner of Gatorland Toyota.

Palm Chevrolet of Gainesville closed on the sale last week with Bradenton-based Gettel Automotive Group.

The Kia dealership will remain at 3345 N. Main St. and Acura will remain next door at 3435 N. Main St. Palm is leasing the properties from Gettel, said Gettel spokeswoman Ellen Walther.

She said Gettel had no comment on why it sold the dealerships.

The Gatorland Kia and Gatorland Acura signs are down and the new names will be Gainesville Kia and Acura of Gainesville.

Mark Wyant, who previously served as general manager of Gainesville Chevrolet, came out of semi-retirement earlier this year to help with sales and is the new general manager of the Kia store, while Peter Bartlett is the general manager over Acura.

Wyant said that Kia sales have underperformed in Gainesville until recently and they see a lot of potential for the low price points. The Kia building will be remodeled soon, he said.

Acura gives Palm another luxury brand -- along with Cadillac -- in a market where imports do well and where there is no Lexus or Infiniti dealerships to compete with, Wyant said.

Palm has been trying to buy Acura for a couple years and the whole deal came together for both brands, Wyant said.

Palm also owns the Cadillac and Mazda dealerships.

Gettel is preparing to build a new BMW dealership on four acres of the current Gatorland Toyota property. BMW currently shares a facility with Volkswagen.

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