Hewitt — an experienced used-car manager — is focusing on the store’s sales department, while Alalouf oversees fixed operations, accounting and finance.
The partners each have three decades of automotive managerial experience. They met 25 years ago at what was then the Cowell Auto Group near Vancouver, British Columbia, then later worked for Canada’s Foundation Automotive Corp. in the US
After they decided last year to launch their own business, Alalouf and Hewitt sold their Vancouver homes to raise cash. They said they chose a US location because Canadian dealerships were either too expensive or too remote.
If all goes well with Coachella Valley Volkswagen, Alalouf said they may expand.
“We’re not going to buy 35 stores and become a monster group, but we’d like to have three to five stores in the next five years,” he said. “We’ll keep it local with stores within an hour’s drive and just grow from there.”
The transaction made sense for both buyer and seller, said Jason Stopnitzky, co-founder of Irvine, Calif., buy-sell firm Performance Brokerage Services, which brokered the deal.
PATH Auto bought an affordable store, while Nouri/Shaver excited a dealership that was a bit small by its standards, Stopnitzky said.
The Nouri/Shaver group has made several acquisitions in the past year, including Cal Worthington’s iconic Ford dealership in Long Beach, Calif., in February.
Nouri/Shaver is “in hyper growth mode,” Stopnitzky said. Coachella Valley Volkswagen “is a small store compared to … other acquisitions. This one store didn’t fit.”