West Herr buying Rochester dealerships

October 8, 2010 Updated Oct 8, 2010 at 8:00 AM EDT

By Business First of Buffalo - by James Fink

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October 8, 2010 Updated Oct 8, 2010 at 8:00 AM EDT

West Herr Automotive Group is entering the Rochester market by acquiring that area's only Mercedes-Benz and BMW dealerships.

West Herr has signed a contingent agreement with Rochester businessman John Holtz to acquire Mercedes-Benz of Rochester and BMW of Rochester dealerships. Both are on West Henrietta Road. The deal is scheduled to take effect on Oct. 11.

"We're looking forward to doing business in such a diverse, historic and warm community," said Scott Bieler, West Herr president.

The deal would open the door for 60-year-old West Herr to enter the Rochester market and further cement its position as the state's largest auto dealership. It would also give Orchard Park-based West Herr its first Mercedes-Benz and BMW dealerships.

"Mercedes-Benz and BMW are two of the top brands available," Bieler said.

West Herr sells 20 brands of cars, spread among 13 local dealerships. Among the makes it sells include Buick, Chevrolet, Jeep, Jaguar and Toyota. West Herr also has two dealerships that exclusively sell used cars.

All of West Herr's dealerships are in Erie County, except its Honda showroom that's located on Transit Road in Lockport.

The company sold 26,591 retail vehicles last year has 1,100 employees. It is listed as the 22nd largest auto dealership in the country.

The deal will give West Herr another 60 employees.

Bieler said he anticipates expanding both dealerships.

John Holtz's dealership roots go back to 1977.

"This transaction is a strategic 'win-win' for both operations," Holtz said.

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