January 8, 2016 — The Penske Automotive Group announced yesterday that it has made an investment in the Japanese dealer market. It’s not an outright acquisition, but the dealer group has taken a 49% equity position in the Nicole Group, a four-store luxury group selling BMW, MINI, Rolls Royce and Ferrari brands in Tokyo and Kanagawa. The investment play likely is the first of several moves in Japan — and perhaps, other Asian markets — for Penske.
Nicole also is the exclusive importer of BMW and Alpina vehicles for Japan. In addition to the new-car dealerships and import business, Nicole also has two pre-owned centers and two stand alone service centers.
The BMW dealership has been named the top BMW store in Japan seven times, according to a press release from the Penske group.
Meanwhile, Roger Penske, chairman of the Penske Automotive Group, recently formed RGH Automotive, a limited liability company with his nephew Geoff Penske and IndyCar driver and Penske Racing team member Helio Castroneves. The LLC is acquiring the New Holland Auto Group located in Lancaster County, PA, according to multiple local area newspapers, in a deal slated to close later this month.
Geoff Penske, who already owns Penske Buick GMC in Berks County, PA, will run the newly-formed dealer group. Castroneves and his uncle are only providing the financial backing and will not be involved in its operations.
New Holland, which is owned by Geoff Class and Fred Beans, consists of a Toyota Scion dealership and Chrysler Dodge Jeep Ram store.