Wyler group takes over Bob Hook GM dealership

-A A +A

Officials of new owner say store will have larger selection

By Todd Martin

Shelby Countians with General Motors vehicles in the driveway now have a new name to learn.

The Jeff Wyler Automotive Family has purchased and taken over the Bob Hook Chevrolet Buick GMC of Shelbyville location at 700 Taylorsville Road.

Jeff Wyler Automotive has a Honda dealership in Frankfort and a Toyota/Scion dealership in Southern Indiana among its numerous dealerships.

“We’re thrilled to be able to add Chevrolet, Buick and GMC on Taylorsville Road in Shelbyville,” said Jeff Wyler, chairman of the auto group, through a release. “This will be a great opportunity to further serve the people in this region.”

The company – which has been in operation since Jeff Wyler opened his first Chevrolet dealership in 1973 – sold more than 26,000 vehicles in 2012 and is one of the top 50 dealer groups in the nation. It operates 38 automotive dealerships across 12 locations throughout Ohio, Kentucky and Indiana.

New General Manager Reggie Fitzgerald comes to Shelbyville after managing the Frankfort Honda dealership, and he noted that customers would some similarities and some improvements.

“We have all the same employees, but we just started painting [Monday],” he said. “We also have a bigger selection. There are more than 1,600 new Chevrolets to choose from with our four Chevrolet stores in Kentucky and Ohio.”

Fitzgerald said since taking over on Friday, the group has hit the ground running.

“We’ve had some customers come in on Saturday, and we sold some cars. We are open Saturdays and closed Sundays.”

In an open letter to former customers, Bob Hook Jr. and David Hook thanked the Shelby County community for it’s support, and said it was a difficult decision to leave Shelby County.

“It was an extremely tough decision to sell our dealership here, but we know that the Jeff Wyler Automotive Family will be a great member of the community, just as we have strived to be.”

Jim Simon, marketing director for the Jeff Wyler Automotive Family, said when the opportunity to purchase a Shelbyville-based dealership came available, it was just what they were looking for.

“It just felt like a great fit,” he said. “We recently bought a small Chrysler dealership in Lawrenceburg, Ind.. and it’s been successful, so we kind of have a blueprint for smaller dealerships right now.

“Plus, we have a Honda dealership in Frankfort that we’ve owned since 1981, and a Toyota dealership in Clarksville, Ind., so it’s kind of on that I-64 path. And, not to knock the imports, but we’ve always been successful with GM and Chevrolet brands.”

This is the Wyler group’s fourth Chevrolet dealership and second Buick/GMC.

“We pride ourselves on customer satisfaction, with several of our dealerships earning national and state awards,” Simon said. “And that’s what we want to bring to Shelbyville. After the automotive companies closed some dealerships when the economy went bad, we’ve been looking for smaller dealerships where we can get into the market. I think Shelbyville is going to be a great fit for us.”

Sentinel-NewsReporter Lisa King contributed to this story.