Warren Buffett to Buy Van Tuyl Auto-Dealership Group

(Los Angeles Times/MCT) -

Warren Buffett is getting into car sales.

Buffett’s massive holding company, Berkshire Hathaway Inc., is buying the Van Tuyl Group, which bills itself as the nation’s largest privately owned auto dealership.

After the deal is completed, the dealership group would be based in Dallas and rebranded Berkshire Hathaway Automotive.

“This is just the beginning for Berkshire Hathaway Automotive,” Buffett said in a statement Thursday.

Van Tuyl has 78 independently operated dealerships and more than 100 franchises across 10 states.

Berkshire Hathaway, which counts railroad giant BNSF among its holdings, did not disclose a purchase price for Van Tuyl. The deal, which is expected to close early next year, needs approval from major automakers.

Auto-industry veteran Jeff Rachor, now with Van Tuyl, would become chief executive of Berkshire Hathaway Automotive. The dealership’s current chief executive, Larry Van Tuyl, would move to the post of chairman.

According to the company’s website, Larry’s father, Cecil Van Tuyl, got the family started in the auto business in 1955 with a single Chevrolet dealership in Kansas City.