October 20, 2017 — The Walser Automotive Group continues its aggressive growth strategy announcing this week that CEO Paul Walser is stepping down to take on the new role of managing OEM relationships and acquisitions. His brother President and COO Andrew Walser has been named CEO.
The group also announced this week it has acquired Polar Chevrolet and Polar Mazda in White Bear Lake, MN. Since 2015 Walser has doubled in size since 2015 and now has 24 locations selling 28 different brands. Polar Chevrolet and Mazda’s owner, 77-yr. old Thane Hawkins is staying on as managing partner with Walser.
The acquisitions are Walser’s second and third this year. Earlier it acquired Wayzata Nissan in Wayzata, MN from Mark Saliterman and Randy Lammle.
In 2015, Walser expanded outside of Minnesota acquiring the Luxury Collection in Wichita, KS adding Audi, Lexus, Mercedes, Jaguar, Land Rover, Porsche, BMW, Mini and Acura stores.
Over the past several years, Andrew and Paul, who took over for their father Jack Walser, have built one of the more progressive dealer groups in the U.S. focusing on a one price strategy along with creating an employee-friendly company.
Two weeks ago, Walser hosted a group of dealers from Brazil walking them through its training and and sales process. The trip was part of an annual educational seminar put together by former dealer and current investment firm owner Jon Lancaster and Francisco Trivellato, who owns a consultancy in Brazil. — With Alison Miley