Two local auto dealerships are now under new ownership.
Wilson Motors has sold its Toyota/Mercedes-Benz and its Nissan dealerships to separate owners, the company announced in a news release on Monday, Sept. 26. The Nissan dealership at 1516 Iowa St. was sold to Chris Russell, while the Toyota/Mercedes dealership at 1100 Iowa St. was sold to Al Monjazeb. Financial terms of the sales were not disclosed.
Russell owns several dealerships in the Pacific Northwest and is based in Idaho. Monjazeb owns several dealerships on the West Coast, including Mercedes-Benz, Land Rover and Jaguar dealerships in the Seattle area.
The names of the Bellingham dealerships will change slightly. Wilson Motors Nissan will become Nissan of Bellingham, while the dealership that has Toyota and Mercedes Benz vehicles at 1100 Iowa St. will have two names – Mercedes-Benz of Bellingham and Toyota of Bellingham.
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The sellers of the two dealerships were Rick Wilson and Julian Greening. Wilson is retiring after operating Wilson Motors for 50 years, while Greening will stay on as general manager. Greening said customers shouldn’t notice any changes in staff or its selling philosophy.
Greening said the Toyota dealership has 101 employees, while the Nissan dealership has 30 employees.
“We are sorry to see Rick go, but we are excited by this change,” Greening said, noting that the experience of the new owners and their other successful dealerships will provide some insights on being even more successful.
Greening said the dealerships are coming off a strong summer, not just in sales but with a growing service department. The Toyota/Mercedes-Benz dealership has been among the top-selling Whatcom County auto dealers in recent years. In 2013, the company sold 794 new vehicles, followed by Northwest Honda at 483, according to data from the Dominion Cross-Sell report.