Safford Automotive Group on Monday acquired 16 stores in Maryland and Virginia from Brown Automotive Group, more than doubling the number of dealerships in 2022’s largest acquisition.

Safford owner James Graham confirmed to Automotive News that the deal adds 14 franchised dealerships, one used car store and a classic car and auto shop. The franchise stores are three Mazda locations; two Honda dealerships, two Nissan stores and two Hyundai stores, as well as stores representing the Toyota, Kia, Subaru, Chrysler-Jeep-Dodge-Ram and Volkswagen brands.

This is the largest transaction we track Automotive news to date this year.

The executive team of Fairfax, Va.-based Brown Automotive is joining Safford’s management organization, and the combined group has been renamed Safford Brown Automotive Group, Graham said. Safford previously had a small executive team, so combining efforts made sense, he said.

“Bringing them together and using the resources to fill any voids on both sides allowed us to come together very well,” Graham said. “We will be much stronger together from the management side as well.”

Before the deal closed, Safford had 10 new car dealerships and four dealerships, all in Virginia except for the BMW store and one of the collision locations, both in Owings Mills, Maryland.

Stores sold by Brown Automotive, which operated its markets under the Brown’s Car Stores brand, are primarily located in Virginia. The Toyota store, one of the Honda locations, and the classic car store are all in Glen Burnie, Maryland, and the others are in the northern Virginia cities of Amherst, Arlington, Alexandria, Chantilly, Fairfax, Leesburg, Manassas, Richmond. and Sterling.

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