RDS Automotive Group buys Philadelphia-area Ferrari, Nissan dealerships

RDS Automotive Group expanded its portfolio of brands — on both ends of the spectrum — with acquisitions in late 2021 and early 2022.

The luxury-focused group not only purchased one of the market’s rarest dealership offerings in Ferrari, it also bought a main-line volume dealership in Nissan.

RDS Automotive, of Newtown Square, Pa., acquired its first Ferrari dealership when it bought Algar Ferrari of Philadelphia in Bryn Mawr, Pa., from Aleks Vekselberg on Dec. 23. Bryn Mawr is northwest of Philadelphia.

Vekselberg had owned the dealership since 2012, according to its website. The store dates to 1964.

RDS Automotive renamed the dealership Ferrari Philadelphia.

As of Jan. 1, there were just 14 exclusive Ferrari dealerships in the country and 46 overall franchises, according to estimates in Automotive News’ annual dealership census.

“We wanted that brand to round out our stable of manufacturers,” RDS President Robert DiStanislao told Automotive News.

RDS also sells Porsche, Lamborghini, McLaren, Bugatti, Maserati, Koenigsegg and Automobili Pininfarina from dealerships in suburban Philadelphia, Connecticut and Southern California.

The Ferrari purchase marked RDS Automotive’s first acquisition since it bought Lamborghini and McLaren dealerships in Newport Beach and Costa Mesa, Calif., in 2017, DiStanislao said.

And just days after RDS bought the Ferrari dealership, it sold Alfa Romeo Newport Beach in Costa Mesa to MCA MIT 2 LLC on Dec. 28. That dealership moved to nearby Irvine, Calif., and was renamed Irvine Alfa Romeo.

Nissan purchase

On Jan. 31, RDS Automotive bought its first mass market-brand dealership when it purchased Devon Nissan in Pennsylvania.

The group bought the store from Steven Silverio, DiStanislao said. The store was renamed Nissan of the Main Line. Devon is also northwest of Philadelphia.

Initially, DiStanislao planned to buy the dealership for its real estate and use the property to sell pre-owned supercars.

But after meeting with Nissan executives, DiStanislao, who said he was impressed with the brand’s commitment to electric vehicles, changed his mind.

“The product line is great,” DiStanislao said. “The Titan is great. The Rogue is great. The Maxima is great. The cars just hit incredible value, [a] great price point, and it’s great for our customers. I no longer have to sell them a 70,000-mile Audi A4. I could sell them a brand-new Sentra or Altima.”

Beyond acquisitions, RDS has been busy with construction projects.

In Irvine, the group opened a dealership that houses Lamborghini and Bugatti. It’s also building another, which will house McLaren, Koenigsegg and Automobili Pininfarina, set to open in the fall, DiStanislao said.

On the East Coast, RDS in late 2021 held its grand opening ceremony for Lamborghini Greenwich in Connecticut, which Lamborghini CEO Stephan Winkelmann attended. A new facility for Lamborghini Philadelphia, currently operating out of the group’s Maserati dealership in Devon, is set to open in June. It also will be in Devon.

RDS is moving its Porsche of the Main Line dealership in Newtown Square to a new 86,000-square-foot building with four levels next door to the current store. The new dealership is also set to open in June.

Additionally, RDS Automotive was awarded an open point from Lotus and is targeting an open date of late summer for a standalone dealership, DiStanislao noted, which will be located on the same campus as the Porsche dealership.

Katherine T. Burrows

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