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Dealership reins handed to Florida firm

Profile image for By Jenna Duncan / Staff Writer
By Jenna Duncan / Staff Writer

The Florida-based company Automotive Management Services Inc. is the new owner of the Jim McNatt Auto Group’s Honda and Toyota dealerships in Denton.

The dealerships are now named Honda of Denton and Toyota of Denton. Both names were registered with the county Dec. 17 by Terry Taylor, president of AMSI, and the sale was finalized Jan. 8.

With the acquisition, AMSI now owns 90 dealerships in Texas, Florida, Georgia, Tennessee, North Carolina and Colorado. The company’s headquarters are in Florida.

Eddie Mihalovich, director of marketing for AMSI, said the company plans to maintain local management and employees, as Jim McNatt was mindful of his employees while navigating the sale.

“It’s just going to be a bit of a different culture in the dealership, and we’ll keep it as customer-oriented as possible,” he said.

Both dealerships, however, have new managers — Chris Ballard is the general manager at Honda of Denton, while Scott Fly will be the general manager at Toyota of Denton.

While Mihalovich declined to say how long the sale had been in the works, he said McNatt was careful to find the right buyer before he began the sale.

“One thing he did was he felt very strongly about finding the right organization to do it with,” Mihalovich said. “He didn’t want to sell to a big Goliath. ... He felt that Auto Management Services was the right organization to sell to, and it was a long, long process.”

The company plans to increase the volume of sales and have heavy community involvement, Mihalovich said.

Chuck Carpenter, president of the Denton Chamber of Commerce, said he anticipated the transition to new ownership to go smoothly.

“I’ve watched transitions in other companies locally, and in most cases there’s not been a significant negative impact,” Carpenter said.

JENNA DUNCAN can be reached at 940-566-6889 and via Twitter at @JennaFDuncan.