Dealership Sold

Volvo Cars Savannah & Hilton Head

Georgia & South Carolina
Volvo Cars Savannah & Hilton Head

Performance Brokerage Services, North America’s highest volume dealership brokerage firm, is pleased to announce the sale of Volvo Cars Savannah, Georgia and Volvo Cars Hilton Head, South Carolina from Anna and Ralph Tolman to Smith Automotive Group.

After serving in the United States army, automotive enthusiast Ralph Tolman opened a car repair shop out of an old garage in Savannah, Georgia. The popularity and reputation of the service shop led Ralph and his wife, Anna, to venture into new car sales, and in 1978, became a single point Volvo dealership. In 1997, Ralph and Anna expanded their business and opened Volvo Cars Hilton Head.  

Following the sale, Ralph Tolman remarked, “George Chaconas of Performance Brokerage Services was referred to us by a large auto dealer after we could not come to terms on a deal. We then realized we needed an experienced and professional automobile broker like George Chaconas to exclusively represent us in what has been a lifetime of ownership. We sent an email to his corporate office, he responded immediately, and visited us within a couple of days. He suggested a deal team of an automotive buy-sell attorney, CPA and a real estate appraiser, etc. to represent us. Since our OEM, Volvo, was aware of our imminent retirement, there were several very interested buyers introduced to us along with George’s proprietary database of qualified buyers. This allowed us to maximize the sale price by having multiple buyers interested in acquiring our two Volvo stores at the same time with surety of closing. We are very happy and appreciative of George’s professionalism, constant contact, support, industry knowledge and expertise. If you are considering retiring like us with no succession plan, now is the perfect time to reach out to George!”

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. George C. Chaconas, Senior Partner of the Southeast Office for Performance Brokerage Services was the exclusive advisor for this transaction.

George C. Chaconas commented, “I truly loved and enjoyed helping Anna and Ralph Tolman, a beautiful 82-year-old married couple finally sell their two Volvo stores in Savannah, Georgia and Hilton Head, South Carolina. It was a thrill to help them finally retire as Volvo dealers for almost 50 years! I feel very fortunate and grateful that they trusted me and had the faith in me to exclusively represent them throughout the entire buy-sell process, maximizing the sale price with our process confidentially! I look forward to helping more family-owned car dealers without a succession plan retire while values are at an all-time high and as the automotive industry is changing at a rapid pace!” 

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, and in 2023, George Coleman Ford in Travelers Rest, South Carolina. Smith Automotive Group currently operates 8 dealerships in the Southeast.

John Smith Jr. stated, “We are very excited about our recent acquisitions of Volvo of Savannah and Volvo of Hilton Head with the help of George Chaconas of Performance Brokerage Services. This was our third acquisition this year with George and PBS. As always, George was a consummate professional and very responsive to everyone’s needs throughout the buy-sell process. I highly recommend George when it’s time for you to consider selling or buying a car dealership!”

Volvo Cars Savannah will remain at 8301 White Bluff Road in Savannah, Georgia, and is currently under construction to meet Volvo’s latest image requirements.

Volvo Cars Hilton Head will remain at 12 Gateway Village Road in Bluffton, South Carolina and was recently remodeled in accordance with Volvo’s image requirements.

Anna and Ralph Tolman were represented by J. Eric Gregory at Gregory Law LLC in Johns Creek, Georgia, and Jon Paul Davis and John Eger at HHM CPAs in Memphis, Tennessee.

John Smith Jr. was represented by Logan Parker & Gregory May at Bass Sox Mercer in Tallahassee, Florida, and Jason Borden at FORVIS, LLP in Memphis, Tennessee.

Seller:Ralph & Anna Tolman
Buyer:Smith Automotive Group
Facilitated by:George C. ChaconasSenior Partner, CBI/M&AMI

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