LaFontaine Automotive in Highland Township Acquires Kalamazoo’s Orrin B. Hayes Group – DBusiness

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The Fontaine Automotive Group has purchased the Orin B. Hayes Group in Kalamazoo. // Photo courtesy of Orrin B. Hayes Group

The LaFontaine Automotive Group, headquartered in Highland Township, continued its expansion plans into 2024 with the acquisition of Orrin B. Hayes Group in Kalamazoo, which includes retail locations representing Mercedes-Benz, Sprinter, Mazda, and Jeep. Terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

“We are a family-focused business with an emphasis on our guests, family, and the communities we serve,” says Ryan LaFontaine, CEO, LaFontaine Automotive Group. “As my family got to know the Hayes family, we immediately knew it was a perfect match.

“As we expand our footprint on the west side of the state, this acquisition aligns with our long-term vision of growth and expansion, allowing us to serve a broader customer base and strengthen our presence across Michigan.”

The purchase brings LaFontaine Automotive Group’s portfolio to 36 retail locations in Michigan, with additional acquisitions planned in the first quarter of the year. The LaFontaine Automotive Group has added 21 retail locations in the past six years, all in Michigan.

“Community and philanthropy remain a cornerstone of our group since my mom, Maureen LaFontaine, went door-to-door back in Milford in 1984, building lifelong relationships and uplifting the communities that have supported us,” says Kelley LaFontaine, vice president for the LaFontaine Automotive Group. “There is a rich sense of community in and around the Kalamazoo area and we will quickly align ourselves with the organizations and initiatives making a positive impact on fellow residents and business alike.”

Chris Hunt and Scott Tarwacki, luxury brand directors with LaFontaine Automotive Group, will oversee the Kalamazoo complex. They are currently responsible for the oversight of the group’s Volvo Farmington Hills, Polestar Detroit, and Infiniti Ann Arbor locations.

As LaFontaine continues to implement its acquisition plans, Hunt and Tarwacki will oversee new brands that fall into the luxury portfolio.

“I am honored with the opportunity to work in collaboration with the Kalamazoo team to achieve new heights and deliver an enhanced guest experience,” says Hunt. “We are strategically located in Kalamazoo, with our Mercedes-Benz/ Sprinter and Mazda dealership in the heart of downtown, while our Jeep location is prominently located on Stadium Drive, amongst other automotive retailers.”

Following the closing of the sale, the dealerships will be renamed Mercedes-Benz/Sprinter of Kalamazoo, LaFontaine Mazda Kalamazoo, and LaFontaine Jeep Kalamazoo. Kelley LaFontaine is dealer principal for Mercedes-Benz and Ryan LaFontaine will be dealer principal of Mazda and Jeep.

Orrin B. Hayes Inc. was established in southwest Michigan in 1920. Founder, Orrin B. (Pug) Hayes, coined the motto “Service Sold It.”

The dealership’s two locations are now run by two of Hayes’ great-granddaughters, Amy Krone and Amanda Woodruff, the fourth generation of Hayes family members to operate the store.

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