UPAuto adds third store


The UPAuto Group has acquired Downtown Buick GMC in St. Marys, Ont.

This is the third store for the group after having closed its purchase of Stratford Subaru and Stratford Nissan last fall.

“This store has been a fixture of this fantastic community for over 40 years,” owner Michael Carmichael announced on social media.

“We are thrilled to have this opportunity to become part of both the St. Marys community and the General Motors one! Chris West and the West family have built a tremendous customer focused dealership that we are honoured to have the opportunity to lead going forward.”

Carmichael said the goal would be to drive business growth and identify areas of improvement while working to invest in both the community and the dealership team.

Payam Zareian, director of pre-owned for UPAuto, will become Downtown Buick GMC’s operating partner and general manager.

This deal marks a return to General Motors for Carmichael, whose family owned and operated Toronto’s City Buick for more than six decades.

Carmichael, a NADA University grad, had sold a 50 per cent stake of City Buick to the Humberview Group in 2009 after taking the dealership over from his father, John. He sold his remaining stake in the store to the group in July 2016 and started UPAuto in January 2017 with Zareian and Adam Seanor, vice-president of finance and strategy.

He told Canadian AutoWorld back in December that the plan was to pursue non-metro dealerships with room to improve. His post on social media hinted there would be more announcements in the months to come.

St. Marys is a small town in southwestern Ontario. It is roughly 45 kilometres north of London.