You are viewing this article in the archives. For the latest breaking news and updates in Ann Arbor and the surrounding area, see
Posted on Wed, Dec 14, 2011 : 5:53 p.m.

LaFontaine announces plans for Buick GMC dealership in Ann Arbor

By Nathan Bomey

Read the updated story: LaFontaine confirms purchase of Mack Buick GMC dealership in Ann Arbor

Southeast Michigan dealership network LaFontaine Automotive Group announced today on its Facebook page that it would open a dealership in Ann Arbor in 2012.

"The Family Deal is coming to Ann Arbor!" LaFontaine posted. "On behalf of the LaFontaine Family, I am honored to let everyone know the doors to LaFontaine Buick GMC of Ann Arbor will open in early 2012. Stay tuned for more details!"

It was not immediately clear where the dealership would be located.

The company's Dexter dealership referred inquiries to LaFontaine Automotive Group general manager Matt LaFontaine, who did not respond to a call or email. The social media manager who posted the news referred questions to another executive who could not be reached for comment.

LaFontaine operates dealerships in eight locations, including the Chevrolet dealership in Dexter and a Chrysler Dodge Jeep Ram dealership in Saline.

General Motors already has two franchises on Jackson Road in Scio Township: Surburban Collection Ann Arbor, which sells Chevrolet, Cadillac and Saab, and Mack Buick GMC.

Mack Johnson, who bought the former Jim Bradley dealership in July 2010 and moved it to his former Saturn of Ann Arbor dealership, was not available for comment today. A general manager also declined to comment.

A general manager for the Suburban Collection did not return a call, nor did a spokesman for GM.

Contact's Nathan Bomey at (734) 623-2587 or You can also follow him on Twitter or subscribe to's newsletters.



Fri, Dec 16, 2011 : 1:44 a.m.

I love the cars and trucks that are produced in Michigan. It's jobs for our state. I know some come from Canada and Mexico but look at it this way the PROFITS stay in America. This is an American company that gave us jobs and it has a trinkle down effect for other American people to keep there jobs. Like tires, brakes, wiring, headlamps, etc..... All these componets that make up the cars are from hard working American's Please when you go to buy a car think of the profits staying in America not Japan, China, Korea.


Thu, Dec 15, 2011 : 3:57 p.m.

Sounds like after all the feel good stories about Mack Johnson, he is selling out to a "chain store". After the way they ran Arbor Dodge, I wouldn't think Ann Arbor has missed the "family deal"


Thu, Dec 15, 2011 : 3:37 p.m. might want to invest in reporters with a little patience. Common sense would lead one to believe that GM would want to have the right people purchase the Ann Arbor Buick GMC dealership. Without all of the facts - this story should not have ran. The A2 store was once a thriving dealership and GM would only benefit by watching this existing store grow again with the right team. How exciting for the Jackson Rd. strip! - More competition on the strip is better for everyone - can't wait to see how this rolls out!


Thu, Dec 15, 2011 : 8:19 a.m.

At this point, it's just a twitter announcement from one exec without any details coming from LaFontaine's corporate offices. Maybe LaFontaine is buying the Mack dealership. But, if a separate dealership opens it will just have to make one wonder if GM learned anything. It had to shed so many extra dealers during the reorganization, it went through so much politics and the process was painful to communities, employees, etc. Now are they at it again? A large family dealership group wants a franchise in an area already being served so it will get one? The Japanese model being followed by the Koreans is to have fewer dealerships. In Ann Arbor, you have Dunning Toyota. There are only about 5-6 dealerships that serve all of the Ann Arbor, Western Wayne County and Western Oakland County areas. Yet, we see Toyota after Toyota on the road. With a smaller dealer base, the car company can better control dealer quality and service. It can also better avoid over-inventories sitting on lots throughout waiting for sales that never come and being forced to offer more rebates because the dealers are howling. As a consumer, you want to love the idea of more dealers for me to play off of each other. But, it's really illusory. With lots of dealerships, you may find that you are getting poor service, more hype and, actually, worse deals because the dealerships are on such a tight margin due to the competition. Hopefully, the car companies are not going down this road again.

Mike D.

Thu, Dec 15, 2011 : 3:34 a.m.

Don't laugh, but Buick actually makes some good cars. The Regal is a re-badged Open Insignia, a well-regarded German mid-sizer. Perception takes a few generations to catch up with reality, so it will be interesting to see how many Ann Arborites will actually buy them, given our residents' overwhelming bias against American iron. GMC, on the other hand, is nothing more than Chevy with a few more gadgets standard.

Ron Granger

Thu, Dec 15, 2011 : 1:09 a.m.

Wait. They still make Buicks? My friend's Mom loves Buicks. She has always had a big square Buick. Usually in a metallic blue-grey. No rounded corners for that lady! It's the kind of car that just says "Road Trip!", even without a talking navigation system.