Car dealer acquires two dealerships

January 16, 2019
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Jeep Renegade
A Jeep Renegade. Photo via

A local car dealer has made its first acquisitions of 2019.

Fox Motors added the Chrysler family brand of automobiles – Chrysler, Dodge, Jeep and RAM – to its portfolio in the Grand Rapids market, with the acquisition of K&M Dodge RAM and Van Andel & Flikkema Chrysler Jeep.

“It has been an honor to work with the K&M owners, Hank Makarewicz, Tom Makarewicz, Jim Koning and Dave Koning, and with Van Andel & Flikkema’s John Flikkema and their respective teams these past few months,” said Daniel G. DeVos, Fox Motors chairman & CEO. “The Makarewicz, Koning and Flikkema families are iconic in the Grand Rapids automotive industry and you can see the dedication and loyalty to our community, their teams and their customers that they brought with them every day.”

The new combined dealerships will be rebranded as Fox Chrysler Dodge Jeep RAM with the Chrysler and Jeep lines located at 3844 Plainfield Ave. NE, Grand Rapids, and the Dodge and RAM lines located at 4100 Plainfield Ave. NE, Grand Rapids.

Fox also will serve K&M’s Suzuki service customers at the “Motor Mile” location at 4180 Jupiter Ave. NE, across the street from the Dodge RAM dealership, and Venom Motorsports customers at 5174 Plainfield Ave. NE.

The acquisitions bring the Fox Motors portfolio to 41 automotive and powersports brands in 36 locations, and is the third Chrysler dealership for the group. Current Fox Chrysler stores are located in Charlevoix and Negaunee.

Fox Motors rehired 150 former K&M and Van Andel & Flikkema employees, which brings the total number of Fox employees to 1,825 in Michigan and Illinois.

K&M Dodge RAM was purchased in October 1974 by Hank Makarewicz and Hank Koning. While under their ownership, they added a collision center and Mopar parts distribution center, as well as growing the team from 32 employees to 100.

Van Andel & Flikkema was established in 1932 by James Van Andel and John Flikkema Sr.; the partners purchased a Desoto and Plymouth dealership in 1950. The Chrysler franchise was added in 1981 and then in 1991, John Flikkema III bought out the Van Andel family’s interest and the dealership moved to its current location.

According to an earlier Business Journal report, Fox Motors signed agreements to purchase K&M and Van Andel & Flikkema in October 2018. At the time of the reporting, Fox was awaiting approval of Chrysler for the deals to proceed.

Fox Chrysler Dodge Jeep RAM operations will be overseen by Jerry Moore, division director, and John Phillips, general manager.

K&M Wayland was not involved in this transaction and will stay with the Koning and Makarewicz families.

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