Spokane Journal of Business

Gee Automotive acquires Oregon dealerships

Three dealerships to help Liberty Lake company increase its presence in Portland metro area

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Liberty Lake auto retailer Gee Automotive Cos has acquired three Dick’s Auto Group dealerships, in the Portland suburb of Hillsboro, Oregon.

Ryan Gee, CEO of Gee Automotive, declines to disclose the terms of the transaction, which closed Jan. 19.

Gee says the company was looking to grow in the Portland market, and the acquisition of Dick’s Auto Group will help to increase the company’s geographic presence there.

About 200 employees at Dick’s Auto Group will stay on board under the new ownership, says Gee.

With the acquisition, Gee Automotive now owns and operates 18 dealerships in the Portland area. It had secured 15 dealerships in the Portland area in 2017 after acquiring the Tonkin family of dealerships in 2017. 

Gee Automotive will add the Ford brand to its dealerships in the Portland market as well, says Gee.

“We had Ford in the Puget Sound, in Kirkland, but we don’t have Ford in the metro Portland market, so we were able to add that,” he says.

The transaction included the acquisition of Dick’s Hillsboro Chevrolet; Dick’s Country CDJR, which stands for Chrysler Dodge Jeep Ram; and Dick’s Mackenzie Ford. The dealership names will be changed to Tonkin Hillsboro Chevrolet, Tonkin CDJR, and Tonkin Hillsboro Ford, under the new ownership.

“The Tonkin name has been around for over 60 years in the Portland market,” Gee says. “The name is well known and well regarded in the Portland market, so we’ve continued to use it.”

Dick’s Auto Group, co-owned by siblings Shannon Inukai-Cuffee and Scott Inukai, will retain two dealerships: Dick’s Honda and Dick’s Hyundai, both in Hillsboro.

DCG Acquisitions, a Dave Cantin Group company in New York, handled the transaction between Gee Automotive and Dick’s Auto Group, representing both parties in the acquisition.

George Pero, western region vice president for DCG Acquisitions, says the Inukais asked his company to find a buyer, and he already had a working relationship with Gee Automotive. He adds that negotiations began in September and took about four months to complete.

Gee Automotive was founded in 1983 in Spokane. The company now has 33 total dealerships, including five near the Interstate 90-Liberty Lake interchange; five dealerships in Boise, Idaho; and five dealerships in the Puget Sound area.

The company’s annual revenue is over $2 billion, according to Gee. In 2021, the Journal ranked the company the No. 2 new car dealer, out of 25 Spokane and Coeur d’Alene-area dealerships, based on numbers of new cars sold in 2020.

Erica Bullock
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Reporter Erica Bullock has worked at the Journal since 2019 and covers real estate and construction. She is a craft beer enthusiast, who loves to garden and go camping with friends.

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