Sweeney Buick GMC

Update: Sweeney Confirms Dealership Sale

BOARDMAN, Ohio – Sweeney Chevrolet Buick GMC announced Tuesday morning that it has reached an agreement to sell its assets to #1 Cochran, a western Pennsylvania-based group of auto dealerships.

Terms of the transaction – which is pending formal approval by General Motors and is anticipated to close in mid-January – were not disclosed in a news release issued shortly before 9 a.m.

The Boardman dealership, which includes Sweeney Chevrolet and Sweeney Buick GMC on Market Street, will be #1 Cochran’s first in Ohio, and the Sweeney dealership will be its largest store on Day 1, according to the news release.

Alexa Sweeney Blackann, president of the dealership since late 2020, said a news conference would be held in the near future to address the sale.

“I’m confident that our community will embrace #1 Cochran much like they have the Sweeney brand over the past 100 years,” Blackann said. “They were interested in our business because of our strong market position and reputation in the Mahoning Valley. We’ve known Rob Cochran for decades and are confident his family-owned business will continue to build on the relationships we’ve established with our customers, employees and the community.”

The Sweeney dealership, which got its start as the Stearns Motor Co. in 1921, celebrated its 100th anniversary last year.  

“Cochran has a rich history with General Motors, as our first brand was Pontiac,” Neil Jennings, vice president and chief financial oficer at #1 Cochran, said.  “As Sweeney is the largest GM dealer in Youngstown, Cochran is uniquely suited to carrying the torch for our Chevrolet and Buick GMC dealerships.”

Not counting Sweeney, #1 Cochran operates 30 new-vehicle franchises comprised of 19 domestic and imported brands. It employs nearly 1,300 and has been voted a Pittsburgh “Top Workplace” 12 consecutive years by the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.

Sweeney employees are not anticipated to be affected by the ownership transition, though the release did not specify if Blackann would retain any role in the dealership.

“Cochran has a great reputation for keeping the teams in place, and we are expecting to continue post-closing with the same teams at Sweeney,” Jennings said in the release. “Both the same people you are used to dealing with and same great service.”

The Sweeney transaction marks the second sale of a Youngstown-area dealership this fall. Cleveland-based Ken Ganley, the largest auto dealership in Ohio, acquired the former Taylor Kia dealerships in Boardman and Alliance on Nov. 8.

Copyright 2024 The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio.