A Memphis-based car dealership chain bought Charlottesville’s Brown Automotive Group, an institution in the community for nearly 40 years, on September 19.
Umansky Automotive Group, a family-operated company, has 850 employees across 16 dealerships, says owner Dan Umansky. The five local Brown dealerships will be his first locations in Virginia, with the others in Tennessee, Mississippi and Wisconsin.
Brown Automotive Group owner Kenny Brown, who first purchased his Route 29 location in 1981 and now employs more than 350 people in Charlottesville and Albemarle County, says he’s ready to turn over the keys.
“It’s been a great honor to have served so many customers here in our community for the past three decades,” Brown says. “It was truly the hardest decision I have ever had to make, but both myself and my family will forever be committed to the longevity and prosperity of our community.”
Though the company is switching hands, he says customers at all locations will still see the same familiar faces—and brands. Umansky says he’ll still be selling and servicing makes such as Mercedes-Benz, Chrysler, Subaru, Toyota, Honda and Dodge Jeep RAM.
“All of our research and all the information we got about Charlottesville was outstanding,” Umansky says. “We went to visit and it was more than we thought it would be.”