- people on the move
Auto dealership lengthens its reach
A rapidly growing auto dealer has acquired its 18th store in Michigan.
Betten Baker Automotive Group recently acquired McArdle Buick GMC Cadillac from previous owner Tom McArdle. The dealership at 2400 N. Saginaw Road, Midland, reopened on Aug. 1 as Betten Baker Buick GMC Cadillac.
The recent acquisition marks the opening of the 18th Betten Baker dealership in Michigan. The dealership has plans to acquire three more in the near future but would not disclose the locations until the deals are finalized.
Betten Baker has retained all former McArdle staff and is currently hiring more as business picks up.
“We hired one yesterday already, and we’ll need more,” said David Prahl, general manager of Betten Baker Alma, Ithaca and Midland. “As we grow the business, we need more help. We don’t want to push the needle and find we’re shorthanded.”
Prahl said Betten Baker intends to expand the dealership’s current inventory as well.
The Midland acquisition is the latest in a period of rapid growth for Betten Baker. In 2018 alone, the company has gone from having 12 to 18 dealerships in its portfolio.
The company also recently bought Kent City Ford, 29 N. Main St., Kent City. Chris Baker, co-owner of Betten Baker Automotive Group, said the company intends to move the Ford franchise to a new building, currently under construction, in the Coopersville Auto Plaza.
Betten Baker Auto Group will continue to utilize the Kent City dealership for pre-owned vehicle sales and service, he said.
Baker said the company currently has no plans to move out of state.
“We really like Michigan and we’re exploring many opportunities to grow within Michigan,” he said.
Headquartered in Muskegon, Betten Baker Auto Group has grown from 12 locations in 2016 and is aiming for 21 by the end of this year. The company celebrated its 35-year anniversary in March.