We are still in the first quarter, but waves are already being made on the dealership acquisition front.

It was recently announced that AutoPlanet Automotive Group has bought the largest automotive group in Niagara.

Brampton-based AutoPlanet announced this month is has acquired Performance Auto Group.

AutoPlanet — owned and operated by second-generation dealers Glen and Steve Alizadeh and their sister May Allison — will be adopting “Performance Auto Group” as its new coporate identity, citing having acquired one of “the strongest and deeply-rooted” brand names in the retail auto world as reasoning behind the decision.

They will retain the name AutoPlanet as the group brand for its standalone used-car stores.

"We're very excited to bring our two organizations together," said AutoPlanet president Glen Alizadeh. "John and Cam built their businesses on the same foundation as our company, hiring great people and treating their valued clients with respect. We hope to continue to build on this strong foundation."

With the recent acquisition of Performance, AutoPlanet — founded in Toronto in 1959 — now owns 23 dealerships in southern Ontario, nine of which are located in Brampton, including AutoPlanet Direct, an indoor used-car showroom.

The others are located in Oakville, Brantford, Orangeville, Bolton, St. Catharines and Grimsby.

John Mann and Cam Champion, of St. Catherines, launched Performance Auto Group with one location in 1964.

Today, Performance consists of nine dealerships carrying 16 brands in St. Catharines and Grimsby, a large used-car operation, two collision centers, and a detail center.

"After 50 years, Cam and I are delighted to have Performance Auto Group join forces with the AutoPlanet Automotive Group," states John Mann. "The Alizadeh's have a value system and business philosophy that is congruent with our own."

"The sale of Performance Auto Group to AutoPlanet Automotive Group means future growth, which will benefit our employees and guests, the City of St. Catharines, and the Niagara region. It's very positive on all fronts," he concluded.