Morrie’s Auto Group of Minnetonka, Minn., announced Friday it has acquired the Brenengen Auto Group, which has six automobile dealership locations in western Wisconsin.
The six locations — which include two in West Salem, two in Sparta and one each in Onalaska and Tomah — will continue with the Brenengen name. The Brenengen group includes nine automotive brands – Chevrolet, Buick, Cadillac, Ford, Chrysler, Dodge, Jeep, RAM and Kia.
“We are thrilled to add Brenengen to the Morrie’s family,” Morrie’s CEO Lance Iserman said in a press release. “Brenengen is a natural complement to our existing business and has similar values rooted in a no-haggle, best-price approach and a focus on customer experience, community partnership and overall culture.
“We are excited about the opportunity to work with Don and the existing Brenengen team to continue to grow the business and realize benefits for our collective customers, employees and brand partners.”
“We are thrilled to join Lance and the Morrie’s team,” Don Brenengen, president of Brenengen Auto Group, said in the press release. “Their culture of innovation and customer service combined with deep industry knowledge will create significant growth opportunities for our employees and a superior experience for our customers. We look forward to working as part of the Morrie’s team to further build the combined company’s presence as a market leader in Wisconsin.”
Brenengen Auto Group, which has been operated by the Don and Cheryl Brenengen family, began in 1991. Don Brenengen began his automotive career in 1975 as a salesman for Dahl Motors and in 1991 bought Curly’s Chevrolet in West Salem.
In an interview, Don Brenengen told the Tribune that the sale to Morrie’s was finalized Thursday and does not include the Brenengen Collision Repair auto body shop in West Salem, which will continue in business.
Brenengen also said that Morrie’s will honor benefits such as warranties and service discounts that Brenengen customers received.
“You can see all kinds of consolidations” among automobile dealerships, Brenengen said, when asked why he was interested in selling his dealerships.
It takes a lot of resources and expertise to provide everything that automobile manufacturers, government regulators and customers require, he said. Large auto groups are able to do that, he noted.
Brenengen said he and his wife will continue to live in La Crosse.
With the acquisition, Morrie’s said, it is looking forward to enhancing its charitable giving activities in the La Crosse area.
Meanwhile, Morrie’s still plans to build a new Audi and Volkswagen sales and service facility at 331 Theater Road in Onalaska to replace the current facility at 700 Monitor St. in La Crosse. Morrie’s purchased the Audi and Volkswagen dealerships in La Crosse in 2017.
“We plan on starting construction on that property this spring,” Phillip Branson, Morrie’s director of real estate and facilities, told the Tribune on Friday. Construction of a new dealership building typically takes about 12 months, he said.
“We’re working on the final details and plans with both manufacturers right now,” Branson said. “We’ll be excited to start the project.”
Morrie’s was founded in Minneapolis in 1960. With the addition of the Brenengen locations, it offers 23 brands of automobiles at locations in Minnesota and Wisconsin. For more information, visit www.morries.com.
“Brenengen is a natural complement to our existing business and has similar values rooted in a no-haggle, best-price approach and a focus on customer experience, community partnership and overall culture."
Morrie’s CEO Lance Iserman