Fast-growing Walser Automotive Group grew bigger this week with the purchase of Polar Chevrolet and Polar Mazda in White Bear Lake.
Company officials also announced Tuesday that Paul Walser will step down as the company’s longtime CEO. His brother, Andrew, will succeed him.
The 38-year-old Polar dealerships were the second and third acquisitions of 2017 for Walser. Earlier this year, the Walser Group purchased Wayzata Nissan, which became the Walsers’ third Nissan dealership in the Twin Cities.
The expansions are the latest in a string of deals that have doubled the size of company since 2015. Terms were not announced.
Last year Walser purchased the Wichita Luxury Collection auto dealership in Kansas. It included brands such as: Audi, Lexus, Mercedes, Jaguar, Land Rover, Porsche, BMW, Mini and Acura.
Walser spokesman Doug Sprinthall said Paul Walser is not retiring. Instead Paul will assume a new role leading the Walser Group’s acquisitions and car-manufacturer relationships.
Paul Walser, who along with his brother grew up working in their father’s dealerships, recently finalized plans to replace the company’s existing Subaru dealership on Cliffs Road in Burnsville with a new building that will open on Buck Hill Road. Construction should be completed in about a year.
Paul also recently won permission from Subaru to open a second Subaru dealership. This one will be located in South St. Paul near Hwy 494 and Concord Street. It is expected to be built by the fall of 2018. The new investments in Subaru, combined, are worth more than $10 million, Sprinthall said.
Walser Automotive Group was started by the Walser brothers’ father, Jack, 63 years ago. Today it sells 25 brands of new and used cars in more than 20 dealerships in Minnesota and Kansas.