Jim Evans looking for expansion opportunities after selling dealership

Martin Management Group offer ‘was a very good offer,’ Evans said in interview

Auto dealer Jim Evans says he has no plans to sell more of his dealerships after selling the Evans Arena Chrysler Dodge Jeep Ram dealership earlier this month.

In fact, he’s in acquisition mode, he said.

“It’s the only store that’s being sold,” Evans told the Dayton Daily News Tuesday.

ExploreEvans Arena auto lot properties sold for $7.25M

He sold the Harrison Twp. auto store for $7.25 million to the Bowling Green, Ky.-based Martin Management Group, which has three other Dayton-area auto stores — Subaru of Dayton, Kia of Beavercreek and Kia of Dayton.

Martin Realty of Montgomery County Ohio LLC purchased four parcels, nearly 20 acres total, from 924 Shiloh Springs Road LLC, which is an limited liability company owned by James Evans Jr., according to deed records.

Evans Dealer Group includes Evans Infiniti of Dayton in Centerville and Evans Motorworks on Poe Avenue.

“I’m looking for other opportunities relative to stores in the future,” Evans said. “So I’m not shrinking my group to nothing. That’s not what’s happening at all.”

Evans said he was not looking to sell anything. He said the Arena lot “was actually doing fine.”

“But the offer came through that was a very good offer, so we went ahead and pulled the trigger on that one, and we’re looking for other opportunities,” Evans said.

The Evans Arena Chrysler Dodge Jeep Ram dealership reopened in the fall of 2019 after suffering great damage in the Memorial Day weekend tornadoes that year.

The morning after the EF-4 tornado came through late on Memorial Day, Jim Evans got past the police barricades in front of his business, which had been located near the former Hara Arena, which was also greatly damaged in the tornadoes. (The arena was demolished in September 2020.)

“Got to the property and was literally ... shocked,” Evans told this news outlet in December 2019.

The dealership’s big sign was toppled and cars were damaged in unexpected ways.

Evans is a third-generation car dealer who in the mid-1990s tried to retire from the industry. Evans — whose grandfather started a car dealership in the Miami area in 1927 — sold his family’s Florida dealerships in 1998 to AutoNation, then served as a vice president for the company for seven years.

In 2005, Evans left AutoNation. He started investigating opportunities to get back into the business, and acquired his first Dayton-area dealerships in 2007.

In June 2021, Evans decided to focus the future of his local dealerships on Volkswagen and BMW after selling his Volvo franchise back to Volvo.

A message seeking comment was left with Dave Alexander, an executive vice president of Martin Management Group.

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