PITTSBURGH – At the start of 2023, #1 Cochran did not have a single store in Ohio. By the end of the year, it had the largest dealer presence on Boardman’s auto row.
The Pittsburgh-based car dealership chain also added locations in Columbiana and East Liverpool, says Rob Cochran, chairman and CEO.
Notable achievements in the Ohio market include:
• Establishing five rooftops representing six brands in Boardman.
• Continuing the legacy of multiple family-owned dealers with deep roots in the local community.
• Team member charitable contributions reaching an all-time high of $35,000.
• Corporate contributions topping $50,000 for United Way, the Joanie Abdu Comprehensive Breast Care Center and others.
Cochran says he had long been searching for the perfect entry point into Youngstown’s automotive market.
In January 2023, opportunity became reality when the Sweeney family, which had served customers for 102 years, sold its Sweeney Chevrolet and Buick/GMC stores to #1 Cochran.
“As multigeneration family businesses, the Sweeney and #1 Cochran organizations had much in common, sharing a deep commitment to customer delight, community support and team member growth,” Cochran says.
In June, #1 Cochran purchased Boardman Nissan.
“We have a wealth of experience with the Nissan brand, operating four Nissan franchises in the Pittsburgh area,” Cochran says. “When the opportunity arose, it made total sense to pursue.”
The company then acquired the Flynn Group of dealerships in October. This acquisition included:
• Donnell Ford and The Honda Store in Boardman.
• Columbiana Cadillac and Chevrolet, plus an 11th Body by Cochran Collision Center, in Columbiana
• Power Chevrolet and GMC in East Liverpool.
“We had our sights set on the Mahoning Valley market for quite some time,” Cochran says. “From the day we opened, customers and the community welcomed us with open arms, and we are proud to further invest in this area.”
For the last decade and a half, #1 Cochran has been on a transformative journey to modernize the industry, using price transparency and innovative technologies to build a sales and service experience based on trust and focused on the customers’ wants and needs, he says.
A foundational component of that effort is the #1 Cochran ExpressWay, the company’s exclusive online car-buying portal at CochranCars.com. The platform allows customers to complete some, most, or all of their purchase online and enjoy free home delivery within 300 miles, Cochran says.
The company operates more than 35 new-vehicle franchises, 11 Body by Cochran Collision Centers, and a centralized wholesale parts distribution center. It is the 59th largest dealer group in the nation and is based in Pittsburgh.