The Stewart Companies has agreed to sell its Apple Automotive dealerships to a Lehigh Valley company, as the York-based holding company focuses on its other businesses,
- The buyer is Allentown-based Ciocca Dealerships, which operates 42 dealerships and 12 collision centers in Pennsylvania and New Jersey, including in the Harrisburg and State College markets.
- Apple operates 10 dealerships, six collision centers, two car washes and a wholesale parts business in York County, with many of them clustered on a campus along Route 30 in West Manchester Township. Others are in Hanover and Red Lion.
- Terms of the transaction were not disclosed.
- But Stewart said it expects Apple dealerships to take the Ciocca name shortly after the sale closes, which is expected in February.
Why is this happening: While the auto industry has been hit by supply chain issues and rising interest rates that make cars more expensive, Stewart said its decision to sell Apple was driven by other factors.
- The company said it has had a long-term plan to concentrate on its construction, real estate and building products businesses, which operate under a variety of names.
- The real estate business includes Apple Retail Properties and Stewart Properties.
- Construction businesses include Stewart & Tate and Lewis Contractors.
- Businesses in the building products sector include York Building Products, Heritage Concrete and Newline Hardscapes.
- “Apple Automotive is a thriving company and has been an important part of The Stewart Companies’ legacy and the communities we proudly serve across Central PA since its founding more than 45 years ago,” Stewart CEO David Stewart said in a statement. “This strategic transition will set the company up for continued success long into the future.”
What’s under the hood: Founded in 1976, Apple Automotive has grown to employ 705 people selling and servicing a range of vehicles, from BMWs to Nissans.
- It is led by president Christopher Sechrist, who is expected to continue leading the company when it becomes part of Ciocca, according to Stewart.
- Ciocca also has committed contractually to offer jobs to every Apple employee, Stewart added.
- “Ensuring continuity for the leadership and team members across our Apple Automotive locations was an important part of the strategic process,” the company said.