Performance Brokerage Services, North America’s highest volume dealership brokerage firm, is pleased to announce the sale of George Coleman Ford in Travelers Rest, South Carolina from Gregg Coleman to John Smith Jr. of Smith Automotive Group.
George Coleman Ford has been owned and operated by the Coleman family for 93 years. The dealership has been a local fixture in the community of Travelers Rest, South Carolina since it was established in 1930 by George Coleman Sr., who served as the town’s first mayor. When George Coleman Sr. passed away, he was the second oldest owner of a Ford dealership in the United States.
George Coleman Jr. took over his father’s business in the mid 1940’s at the age of 20 and managed George Coleman Ford until 1981 when his son Gregg took over. Gregg Coleman has operated the dealership for the past 42 years, with his son Jake joining the business in 2013.
Following the sale, Gregg Coleman commented, “I recently sold my Ford dealership with the assistance of Courtney Bernhard of Performance Brokerage Services. There were many requirements needed to make this transaction happen, especially since the store has been in business for 93 years under ownership of our family. Courtney was patient and engaged throughout the entire process. She brought me a buyer, John Smith Jr. from Smith Automotive Group, who was a perfect fit. My entire team is staying onboard, and I think that George Coleman Ford will be even more successful under John’s leadership. Congratulations to John and thank you to Courtney for making this deal a true success.”
Over the last 5 years, Performance Brokerage Services has advised on the sale of over 300 dealerships, making it the highest volume dealership brokerage firm in North America. In 2022, the company consummated 92 transactions, marking a record-breaking year. This transaction was exclusively facilitated by Performance Brokerage Services Southeast Office, managed by George C. Chaconas, Senior Partner, and Courtney A. Bernhard, Partner.
Courtney commented, “When I first connected with Gregg Coleman, he had no intention of selling. But being the gentleman that he is, he made time to meet with me when I was traveling to the area. Gregg gave me a tour of the dealership and told me all about the Coleman family’s 93-year history of running the dealership. Gregg made it clear that he had very specific requirements in order to sell his family’s dealership. I knew after our visit that John Smith Jr., President of Smith Automotive Group was the right buyer. John and his team were diligent in their efforts to meet Gregg’s expectations. They went above and beyond to help make this a smooth transition for the employees who are staying at the dealership, including Gregg’s son, Jake. I look forward to seeing the continued success and growth of the new team and wish Gregg and his wife a happy retirement.”
Smith Automotive Group was established in 1938, and John Smith Jr., President, joined the family business at a young age. In 2021, George C. Chaconas represented Smith Automotive Group in their acquisition of Acura of Athens and Volvo of Athens in Georgia. With the addition of George Coleman Ford, Smith Automotive Group currently operates five dealerships in the Southeast.
Chaconas added, “It was truly a pleasure for my Partner Courtney and I to help John Smith Jr. acquire George Coleman Ford in Travelers Rest, South Carolina. I have worked with John for years through previous buy-sell transactions and we were very excited to represent him again. We sincerely appreciate the opportunity to be of service with another strategic acquisition in the Southeast and look forward to assisting Smith Automotive Group with their growth in the future.”
Following the sale, Smith commented, “I engaged George Chaconas and Courtney Bernhard of Performance Brokerage Services to help me identify opportunities to acquire auto dealerships that were not yet listed on the open market. Within a short time, they found me the perfect opportunity. I am very excited about the acquisition of George Coleman Ford, and glad I trusted George and Courtney again to help complete another deal. I look forward to working together in the future!”
The dealership will remain at its current location at 47 Plaza Drive in Travelers Rest, South Carolina.
John Smith Jr. was represented by Logan Parker and Greg May of Bass Sox Mercer in Tallahassee, Florida.
Gregg Coleman was represented by Stanley McLeod from Brown, Massey, Evans, McLeod & Hayworth, LLC in Greenville, South Carolina.