In a Facebook Post dealer Jeff Townsend announced the dealership will close on Saturday and reopen on May 2nd as Chevrolet of Dover.
The dealership will retain Townsend Brothers employees. Financial terms were not announced.
“This has not been an easy decision but with no family interested in coming into the business I felt it was time to exit. We are leaving the business in good hands with Matt Kersey being the new dealer. Matt was the general manager at Delaware Cadillac in Wilmington and he along with his boss Mike Uffner are buying the store,” Townsend wrote.
Townsend noted that Kersey was in the military and still serves in the Army National Guard.
The Townsend family owned the dealership for 86 years, with the operation surviving a purge of GM dealers that was part of the bankruptcy and federal bailout of the company.
“I just want to thank all our customers, employees, vendors and suppliers for all the support you have given to Townsend Brothers and to my family over the many years we have been in business. This is a bittersweet decision but I do believe it is the right one at the right time. My family and I will still be living in the area and we look forward to seeing many of you in our day to day activities,” Townsend concluded.
The auto dealership business in Delaware has been in a consolidation mode for some time, although many mid-sized family dealerships have remained independent.
Auto Team’s flagship operation is Delaware Cadillac, which is celebrating its 100th anniversary this year. Auto Team has expanded on Wilmington’s “auto row” by adding dealerships for the fast-growing Kia and Subaru brands.
Michael Uffner has been active in Delaware business circles and the nonprofit community for many years.