Madison-based Zimbrick Automotive Group Inc. announced Wednesday it purchased Stark Chevrolet in Sun Prairie for an undisclosed sum.

Now to be known as Zimbrick Chevrolet, the dealership at 1877 W. Main St. will offer new and used vehicle sales of all makes and models, as well as a complete body shop that was part of the acquisition.

Zimbrick Automotive will retain all 55 employees of the dealership, Zimbrick CEO Tom Zimbrick said, and the new general manager will be Steve Bell, a 22-year veteran of Zimbrick. Stark Chevrolet in Stoughton is not affected by the deal.

In April 2011, Stark Chevrolet in Sun Prairie was the first dealership in the area to offer test drives of the then-new Volt, Chevy’s all-electric vehicle. Tim Spellman, the general manager at the time, said he paid to have a model shipped to his dealership so customers could get a feel for the car before it was available for general purchase in November 2011.

The Chevrolet dealership in Sun Prairie saw its most recent expansion at the end of 2008, when Stark Automotive Group added 10,000 square feet there.

With 13 locations counting the Sun Prairie dealership, Zimbrick Inc. carries 16 vehicle franchises. Since 2010, it has added four brands — Sprinter, Smart Car, Mini Cooper and GMC — and renovated its Buick/GMC West dealership on Fish Hatchery Road in Madison.

In August 2012, Tom Zimbrick told the State Journal company sales were up 10 percent over the previous year and also had been up 10 percent in 2011, when Zimbrick Automotive exceeded $500 million in sales for the first time since it was founded in 1965.

  • Police/metro reporter for the Wisconsin State Journal

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