Lance Iserman, former chief operating officer of AutoNation, the largest publicly traded automotive group in the U.S., has been named the new chief executive at Morrie’s Automotive Group.
“Morrie’s is a great company with exceptional people and a sterling reputation built over the last 50 years,” Iserman said in a news release. “Morrie’s tenured team and strong culture are key advantages as the industry continues to become more competitive.”
Iserman will start as CEO on Monday.
Minnetonka-based Morrie’s was founded in 1960 and has 13 different dealerships in Minnesota and Wisconsin representing 14 different brands from Aston Martin to Volkswagen.
The Fremont Group, a San Francisco-based private-equity group, purchased Morrie’s Automotive in 2016 from Morrie Wagener and his family.
“We carried out a rigorous nationwide selection process over the last few months,” said Alan Dachs, president of Fremont Group, in the release. “We are thrilled to have found Lance. He is a highly experienced and respected operator who for more than 30 years has assumed progressively more senior management roles in the auto dealership industry.”
Iserman will become the top executive, but at a much smaller company. According to Automotive News, an industry trade group that publishes an annual list of the 150 largest dealership groups, top-ranked AutoNation sold more than 310,000 new vehicles in 2018, while Morrie’s ranked 99th with 9,741 new vehicles sold.
Iserman joined AutoNation, based in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., in 2001 and gradually rose through various senior-management positions, the last of which was chief operating officer and executive vice president of sales. AutoNation has more than 300 locations nationwide.
He and several other executives left the company in January after a corporate restructuring, according to a news release from AutoNation at the time.
Iserman will succeed Ken Czubay, who has been serving as interim CEO of Morrie’s. Czubay will remain on the company’s board of advisers.