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Ron Tonkin Dealerships Sold to Gee Automotive

December 14, 2016

SPOKANE, Wash. — Ron Tonkin Dealerships have been sold. Portland’s largest dealer groups and one of its oldest was acquired by Gee Automotive Co., a regional group with locations through the Pacific Northwest. Terms of the dealer weren’t disclosed

With the two groups selling a combined 38,771 vehicles in 2015, the acquisition creates one of the nation’s Top 50 dealer groups and the one of the largest dealer groups on the West Coast. The Tonkin name will remain on all of the group's dealerships, and its brand will continue to grow and expand in the Portland area, officials said.

A spokesperson for Gee Automotive said the Tonkins will retain their Ferrari and Maserati dealership. The location was the first U.S.-based Ferrari dealership when the Tonkins opened its doors in 1966.

“This acquisition unites two family-based businesses with common core values,” said CEO and Dealer Principal Ryan Gee. “Since our founding in 1983, the common theme in all Gee Automotive operations has been ‘families serving families’ — a value shared by the Tonkin family, which has been providing Portland families with cars for more than 50 years.”

The Tonkin dealerships were founded in 1966 by the late Ron Tonkin, known throughout the industry for pushing back against overbearing automakers when he served as chairman of the National Automobile Dealers Association in 1989. His son Ed also served as NADA chairman in 2010. He served as co-president of the dealer group, which operates 21 dealerships in the Portland area, along with his brother Brad.

“Under Gee ownership, the trusted Tonkin brand, service and community commitment will continue — and all Tonkin employees’ jobs, pay and benefits are secure,” said Tonkin. “Our top priority throughout this strategic business decision was to ensure Tonkin employee retention, well-being and opportunity. Our family is confident that Gee will be a good steward of our employees and corporate culture and we are excited to continue to grow under their leadership.”

Brad Tonkin will remain with the company and serve as platform president, officials said. “I am excited to help shape the future of the Tonkin brand under Gee’s leadership,” said Brad Tonkin. “Through a truly collaborative approach anchored by our core values, I anticipate a seamless transition and one that will yield tremendous growth for Tonkin.”

Instrumental in the sale were Kerrigan Advisors, Moss Adams, Dixon Hughes Goodman LLP, Tonkon Torp LLP, Goodwin Procter LLP, and Randall Danskin PS. 

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