Jason Jalbert Acquires Thief River Ford in Thief River Falls, Minnesota from Steve Lillestol
March 8, 2023
Performance Brokerage Services, North America’s highest volume dealership brokerage firm, is pleased to announce the sale of Thief River Ford in Thief River Falls, Minnesota from Steve Lillestol to Jason Jalbert.
Thief River Ford has been servicing Thief River Falls and the greater North Minnesota area since 1930. Unlike many dealers, President, Steve Lillestol did not come from a family with experience in the automotive industry. After graduating college, he took a job as a finance manager at Hansen Ford and decided that his ultimate goal was to purchase an auto dealership. Lillestol eventually reached his goal when he purchased Tunberg Motor Company in 2002 and renamed the dealership Thief River Ford.
At the time, Tunberg Motor Company had a humble gravel lot and primarily sold used vehicles. Shortly after his acquisition, Lillestol heavily invested in the façade and financial infrastructure of the dealership. Lillestol paved the gravel lot, modernized the interior, re-negotiated hourly warranty repair rates with Ford, and grew his team to accommodate new business.
Lillestol’s dedication and hard work have paid off. For more than two decades, Thief River Ford has been a fixture in the local community and surrounding areas. Thief River Ford is well known for friendly service and has a repeat customer base that’s made the small but mighty dealership a reliable success over the past 21 years.
Following the sale, Lillestol commented, “A huge shout out of thanks to Paul Kechnie and Performance Brokerage Services for their professionalism selling Thief River Ford in Thief River Falls, Minnesota. If I had tried doing this on my own, I would have messed it up terribly. Paul guided me throughout the whole process. He established a fair selling price, found a qualified buyer, and kept the whole transaction confidential. Paul was a great liaison between myself and the buyer, staying upbeat when things got difficult. He was always available for questions no matter how trivial. Paul demonstrated to me that brokers are not just for the big guys, they are just as critical for mid to small size dealerships. Thank you again to Paul and the Performance Brokerage Services team for helping me transition to my next chapter in life.”
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. Paul Kechnie, the exclusive agent for this transaction and Texas & Midwest Senior Partner for Performance Brokerage Services commented, “It was a true pleasure helping Steve Lillestol find the right buyer for Thief River Ford. We are grateful that Steve entrusted Performance Brokerage Services to assist with this important life decision and we appreciated Steve’s professionalism throughout the process. I wish him nothing but the best in all his future endeavors.”
Thief River Ford will transition ownership to Jason Jalbert, who also owns and operates Ford of Park Rapids in Minnesota.
Jalbert stated, “Many thanks to Paul for his invaluable assistance and guidance during our recent acquisition. His expertise, attention to detail, and ability to navigate the complexities of the transaction were exceptional. I am grateful for his patience, professionalism, and dedication, and I look forward to working with Performance Brokerage Services again in the future.”
The dealership will remain at its current location at 802 Third Street West, Thief River Falls in Minnesota.