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Posted on Tue, Jun 5, 2012 : 2:59 p.m.

Suburban Collection to acquire Chrysler Jeep of Ann Arbor

By Ben Freed

Suburban Collection, based in Troy, is working on a deal to acquire Chrysler Jeep of Ann Arbor. The transaction should be completed by the end of June, according to Suburban Collection General Manager Ron MacEachern.

"We’re very excited to expand our presence in Ann Arbor," MacEarchern said. "It's a great car market."

Chrysler Jeep of Ann Arbor, formerly Naylor Chrysler Jeep, is located at 2060 W. Stadium Blvd.

Dr. Benn Gilmore, a former ears, nose and throat doctor, gained sole ownership of the dealership in March of this year. Dr. Gilmore did not return multiple calls by

In 2009, as part of their bankruptcy restructuring,Chrysler closed nearly 800 dealerships - representing about 25% of their dealers - across America. As of February 2012, 43 of those dealers had regained their franchises.

In May, Chrysler reported a 30% sales increase, its best May since 2007. Those numbers have Suburban Collection feeling bullish about prospects for the dealership.

"We can’t wait to expand our footprint here," MacEarchern said. "We have already begun looking at expanding the physical building to create more room, and we are looking at trying to add a Dodge franchise to the dealership as well."

There are already six Dodge franchises within a 17-mile radius of downtown Ann Arbor, and Chrysler cited over-crowding of franchises as one of the major factors during the 2009 closings.

Suburban Collection already operates a Chevrolet and Cadillac dealership on Jackson Road in Ann Arbor.

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Ben Freed covers business for Reach him at 734-623-2528 or email him at Follow him on twitter @BFreedinA2



Mon, Jun 25, 2012 : 10:20 a.m.

I see a few comments about Lafontain in this discussion. I took delivery of a new Volt from their Dexter store 5/1 and am very impressed with the organization. One of the best new car experiences that I have had, actually enjoyable. Locally owned or not really does not matter, what matters is the experience that is provided by the organization. Service: I dropped by the service department once and was received with great courtesy and interest in solving my minor problem. This is my first US Brand car in about 25 years and I have to say my view is totally turned around as this has been such a positive experience.... AND the Volt is terrific. Try one and you will be sold.


Sun, Jul 22, 2012 : 2:42 a.m.

as with any other retail experience it's all about how u get treated.END of STORY.


Fri, Jun 8, 2012 : 12:27 p.m.

Feeling Bullish? What does that even mean?


Thu, Jun 7, 2012 : 1:02 p.m.

I also hate seeing small locally owned dealers sell out to larger chains. I truly believe that the personalized service and community loyalty cannot be replaced. However, I would like to draw attention to why many local dealers have sold to larger corporations. We as a society say we prefer the local dealer, but at the same time so many of us jump ship to save $10/month to purchase from a larger dealer who is able to sell at a much lower cost. I encourage you to practice what you preach and support your local businesses (even though the cost is slightly higher). Bottom line: small dealers can't afford to compete with corporations.


Wed, Jun 6, 2012 : 1:22 p.m.

After the Naylor sale, many of their best in service and sales force jumped ship to LaFontaine. It was definitely felt by us customers. Regional still equals local in my book so I'll keep giving them a try until they mess up.


Wed, Jun 6, 2012 : 11:59 p.m.

I have had nothing but excellent service with this dealer, but I would welcome the addition of adding Dodge to their fleet.


Wed, Jun 6, 2012 : 3:18 a.m.

Regardless of anything, I think they bought the franchise and will move it out to Jackson Rd where it belongs. The lot is too small to be a thriving car showroom. It would be like trying to put a Wal Mart into the space required for a Dairy Queen


Wed, Jun 6, 2012 : 8:04 p.m.

if ya go out by sesi bring youre checkbook !


Wed, Jun 6, 2012 : 12:59 a.m.

P poor Service Dept I did buy my Jeep at this dealer and only used the service dept once Thats when we said NEVER again We go to the Novi DCJ dealer from then on. They treat us like they need us

Stephen Skelley

Wed, Jun 6, 2012 : 12:49 a.m.

I, too, was very dissatisfied with the recent owners' work, especially the service department, where they tried to rip me off with a $1250 air conditioner repair which was later repaired by A & B radiator for about $250. The location is very nice for me, and I do hope that the service department will be soon free of the malefactors involved with the swindles. Then I'll happily return with my Cherokee!


Tue, Jun 5, 2012 : 11:21 p.m.

Naylor's served the community well for many years. They weathered constant pressure to either overhaul the current building or expand and move. My experience with the new management was dreadful. I am happy that they will soon be gone. Many former Naylor customers I am sure had negative interactions as I did. Hopefully the new ownership will be better.


Wed, Jun 6, 2012 : 2:58 p.m.

I and others have had very poor experiences over the years with Cueter in Ypsi. I no longer will go there.


Wed, Jun 6, 2012 : 12:51 a.m.

MANY former Naylor customers had negative experiances after Phil Naylor sold the place..... ALOT of them went to other Chrysler, Jeep, Dodge dealers in the area (Cueter, Dick Scott, Brighton, Lafontaine etc) will be interesting to see how many return, especially with a well known name as Suburban.


Tue, Jun 5, 2012 : 10:41 p.m.

we havent seen the last of this especially out along jackson avenue


Tue, Jun 5, 2012 : 10:50 p.m.

has anyone noticed this is the 3rd area dealer that has sold this year and the two domestic brands went to se mi interests


Tue, Jun 5, 2012 : 8:59 p.m.

if you want a dealership and locals can't make it you don't have much choice.


Tue, Jun 5, 2012 : 8:36 p.m.

I loathe megadealers.


Sun, Jun 10, 2012 : 11:08 p.m.

15crown00, I didn't say they shouldn't exist, I said I loathe them. That's why I avoid them in favor of smaller, family-owned dealerships where the personnel turnover seems less and I feel I get better service.


Tue, Jun 5, 2012 : 9:50 p.m.

15crown00, your question serves no useful purpose. 99% of the population cannot afford to buy a car dealership.


Tue, Jun 5, 2012 : 9:04 p.m.

so were you ready to buy any of the Ann Arbor dealers when they were sold?

Sieben 7

Tue, Jun 5, 2012 : 7:55 p.m.

Just curious about the relevancy of the portion about Chrysler's difficulties and dealer closings. Would be more relevant to point out that this was formerly owned by the Naylors for many years - an Ann Arbor family, prior to being sold to Gilmore


Tue, Jun 5, 2012 : 10:43 p.m.

there was NO owner between Phil Naylor and Benn Gilmore...... i worked there during the transition.....and Gilmore didnt fire all the mechanics.. most left on their own.....

Ann English

Tue, Jun 5, 2012 : 10:06 p.m.

If there was an owner between the Naylors and Gilmore, it was that owner who fired all the wonderful auto mechanics, causing customers to go elsewhere for repairs and maintenance.


Tue, Jun 5, 2012 : 8:12 p.m.

There was an owner n between Gilmore and the Naylor family.


Tue, Jun 5, 2012 : 7:28 p.m.

Is this the last of the locally owned dealerships? Are we all now forced to deal with out of town bit corporations? Mac GMC-Buick left us a few months ago with LaFontaine.


Fri, Jun 29, 2012 : 12:04 a.m.

Correction - the previous owners of the former Mack GMC dealership...


Fri, Jun 29, 2012 : 12:03 a.m.

The owners of Mack GMC are building the new Mini dealership going up at Jackson and Wagner.


Wed, Jun 6, 2012 : 3:04 a.m.

I stand corrected,it was 2008 or hterabouts when we purchased a commander, sorry for the confusion, the years blur when you age. You are right wcc


Wed, Jun 6, 2012 : 2:58 a.m.

@wcccchamp, I purchased a grand cherokke from phil's kid in 2004 and he told me his dad had sold the place already, something doesn't add up


Wed, Jun 6, 2012 : 2:15 a.m.

Varsity ford is still locally owned


Tue, Jun 5, 2012 : 10:48 p.m.

@ treetowncartel... Phil Naylor sold the place in 2008


Tue, Jun 5, 2012 : 9:01 p.m.

so why didn't you buy it?

Aaron Tinsley

Tue, Jun 5, 2012 : 8:49 p.m.

Ann Arbor Automotive is still locally owned.


Tue, Jun 5, 2012 : 8:34 p.m.

I love Crispin Chevrolet in Saline.


Tue, Jun 5, 2012 : 8:12 p.m.

Naylor's sold this dealership about 7 years ago I think, at which time it became non-local. Their son continued to work there for a while, but last I heard he was selling cars in Saline at State and Michigan Avenue. Sesi, naylor, Ann Arbor Buick John lee and the like have a hard time competing with these other operations. Buttman is stilll out in Ypsi and they have been a household name for a long time now.


Tue, Jun 5, 2012 : 7:57 p.m.

Yes - sad to see the local guys go. Milan still has a local CDJR franchise and Chelsea and Cuter may still be local owned and there may be stuff toward Clinton. Also, Saline ford and chevy is local owned.


Tue, Jun 5, 2012 : 7:55 p.m.

"Local" is sorta relative; LaFonainte is based in Livonia. Suburban is based in either Southfield or Troy. Both, however, are larger companies. Gene Butman Ford in Ypsi is owned by the Butman family, and it is a single-point dealership.

Sieben 7

Tue, Jun 5, 2012 : 7:50 p.m.

Ann Arbor Automotive is the only one that I can think of. Not even sure about them.