‘New owners, same great people’
By Ryan Gueningsman
DELANO, MN For the first time in 32 years, John Tackaberry woke up Wednesday morning without having a car dealership to run.
Twin Cities Automotive (TCA), part of the Pohlad Companies, has purchased Star West Chevrolet in Delano from Tackaberry. The transaction closed Tuesday.
Under TCA ownership, the auto dealership will be renamed Chevrolet of Delano, and its power sports division will become a stand-alone dealership operating as Star West Motorsports, according to a press release issued last week.
All employees of Chevrolet of Delano and Star West Motorsports will be retained as part of the acquisition.
“Star West Chevrolet has been an important part of Delano for more than 32 years, and we look forward to building on this success and serving the community as Chevrolet of Delano,” said Jay Hulbert, president of TCA. “We are pleased to add another excellent Chevrolet dealership to the Twin Cities Automotive family.”
TCA plans to remodel Chevrolet of Delano, according to the press release. Star West Motorsports will add new brands to its current mix of motorcycles, ATVs, personal watercraft, and snowmobiles. These upgrades are expected to be completed by the end of the year.
“As I hand over the reins to Twin Cities Automotive, it’s exciting to advance the growth and development of Chevrolet of Delano and Star West Motorsports,” Tackaberry said. “We both share a commitment to outstanding customer service and stewardship in the community.”
This marks the second TCA acquisition of a Chevrolet dealership in a rural market this year.
In August, the company acquired North Branch Chevrolet in North Branch, and broke ground last month on a new facility for that dealership.
“I want our people to win, and I want TCA to win,” Tackaberry said. “Today, you have to go big or go home. These guys have the ability to bring more to the table and continue on with the progress we’ve made over the past 32 years. It’s very positive.”
Tackaberry said his long-time staff members, Lyle Odden, Barb Albertson, and Tom Stifter were involved with the process from day one.
Tackaberry purchased the dealership, which at that time was Chevrolet and Oldsmobile, in August 1980, from Frank Routson.
“We were never for sale,” Tackaberry said. “They (TCA) came to us. We met them, they were good people, and we had a good relationship. That started the process. They were looking to go west and liked Delano being fringe. Everything from the beginning working with TCA has been positive.”
He added that variables came up with transitioning franchise agreements.
Tackaberry said Honda, Yamaha, Arctic Cat, and others all went “pretty smooth,” but said the Chevrolet franchise transition was predicated on the facility upgrade.
Taking over the helm at Chevrolet of Delano is Dave Bacon, who has more than 20 years of dealership experience.
Bacon is a Fridley native who has lived in the Rockford/Greenfield area since 1986. He spent 16 years with the Luther Automotive Group, where he ran Brookdale Buick Pontiac GMC. He has another 12 years experience with the Valley Automotive Group in Waconia and Hutchinson.
Bacon said he’s excited because TCA is striving to be a “one-stop shop.”
“If they have the inventory in another location, it’s just like having it here,” Bacon said. He said it’s his goal to go to bat for the customers, and encourage people to give them a chance. Right away, Bacon said customers and passersby will notice more used cars on the lot and more makes and models.
Stifter, who started in service/parts at Star West in September 2000, will continue to run Star West Motorsports.
Prior to Star West, Stifter worked at Jerry’s Transmission in Lester Prairie for 20 years and also at a parts store in Howard Lake.
He said he and Bacon think a lot alike, and said they both believe good product and good service is important to everyone.
Twin Cities Automotive was formed in 2008, with the acquisition of BMW of Minnetonka by the Pohlad Companies.
TCA acquired four additional dealerships in subsequent years, including Coon Rapids Chrysler Jeep Dodge Ram, Inver Grove Hyundai, St. Cloud Hyundai, and North Branch Chevrolet.
Today, the company has a balanced portfolio of dealerships in metro and rural markets, and across three categories domestic, mainstream Asian, and high-end luxury.
In August, TCA announced plans to acquire Carousel Audi and Porsche in Golden Valley, and Audi, Mercedes-Benz and Porsche in Maplewood, a deal that is expected to close in the fourth quarter.
Founded by Minnesota Twins owner Carl R. Pohlad in the 1950s, the Pohlad Companies has diversified in many industries that include banking, financial services, entertainment, commercial real estate, retail, automotive, technology, and the Minnesota Twins.
Led by James, Robert, and William Pohlad, its business interests continue to grow, as does its commitment to its employees, customers, and community.