Florida buyer takes over longtime Washington County car dealership

By Patty Tascarella and Tim Schooley
Pittsburgh Business Times

The Florida-based father-and-son partnership of Faisal and Ali Ahmed has bought the John Sisson Motors Inc. car dealership, a mainstay in Washington County for about 50 years.

Jimmy Ramirez, the general manager of the company, confirmed the ownership change but offered little further comment, only adding the new ownership is making no changes to the operation.

Faisal and Ali Ahmed own multiple auto dealerships in Florida and, in June, bought a Nissan dealership in the Baltimore area through a receiver.

John Sisson Motors operates dealerships for Mercedes Benz and Nissan, and also operates a used car division as well.

While there's no published details on the terms of the business sale, the real estate involved was recently transacted, according to public records.

Two properties of the Sisson dealership - at 470 and 480 Washington Road in South Strabane - were bought by Washington APA RE LLC for a combined total of more than $18.7 million.

The change in ownership for John Sisson Motors is the latest in what's been an ongoing trend with car dealerships in the region.

Until 2017, Pittsburgh was remarkably exempt from the merger and acquisition wave sweeping auto dealerships nationwide.

But many of these family-owned businesses dating back decades had succession issues.

Lithia Motors Inc., a publicly traded company based in Medford, Oregon, bought Cranberry-based Baierl Auto Group. In early 2018, Lithia (NYSE:LAD) acquired parts of Monroeville-based Day Automotive Group.

Most of Kenny Ross Auto Group was bought in summer 2017 by New York-based private equity firm, GPB Capital Holdings LLC. GPB in turn sold Kenny Ross Chevrolet and Kenny Ross Nissan, both based in Zelienople, to #1 Cochran in February 2019.

Cochran is the region’s largest dealership and Baierl, Kenny Ross and Day had all ranked among the top five.