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TR News Review

Local Ford Dealership Sold



America's highest volume dealership brokerage firm, recently announced the sale of George Coleman Ford in Travelers Rest from Greg Coleman to John Smith Jr., of Smith Automotive Group.


George Coleman Ford has been owned and operated by the Coleman family for 93 years. The dealership has been a landmark in the Travelers Rest community since it was established by George Coleman Sr., in 1930. George Coleman Sr., also served as Travelers Rest's first mayor. When George Sr., passed away, he was the second oldest owner of a Ford dealership in the United States.


George Coleman Jr., took over his father's business in the mid 1940s at the age of 20 and managed George Coleman Ford until 1981 when his son Gregg took over. Gregg Coleman has operated the dealership for the past 42 years, with his son Jake joining the business in 2013.


Following the sale, Gregg Coleman commented, "I recently sold my Ford dealership with the assistance of Courtney Bernhard of Performance Brokerage Services. There were many requirements needed to be made to make this transaction happen, especially since the store has been in business for 93 years under ownership of our family. Courtney was patient and engaged throughout the entire process. She brought me a buyer, John Smith Jr., from Smith Automotive Group, who was a perfect fit. My entire team is staying onboard, and I think that George Coleman Ford will be even more successful under John's leadership. Congratulations to John and thank you to Courtney for making this deal a true success."


Over the past five years, Performance Brokerage Services has advised on the sale of over 300 dealerships, making it the highest volume dealership brokerage firm in North America. In 2022, the company consummated 92 transactions, making it a record breaking year. This transaction was facilitated by Performance Brokerage Services Southeast Office.


Courtney commented, "When I first connected with Gregg Coleman, he has no intention of selling. But being the gentleman that he is, he made time to meet with me when I was traveling to the area. Gregg gave me a tour of the of the dealership and told me all about the Coleman's 93 year history of running the dealership. Gregg made it clear that he had very specific requirements in order to sell his family's dealership. I knew after our visit that John Smith Jr., President of Smith Automotive Group was the right buyer. John and his team were diligent in their efforts to meet Gregg's expectations. They went above and beyond to help make this a smooth transaction for the employees who are staying at the dealership including Gregg's son Jake. I look forward to seeing the continued success and growth of the new team and wish Gregg and his wife a happy retirement."


The dealership will remain at its current location at 47 Plaza Drive, Travelers Rest.




Family Of DUI Hit And Run Victim Sues Two Northern Greenville County Stores


The family of a 24 year old woman who was killed when a drunk driver hit her and left the scene has filed a lawsuit against two northern Greenville County businesses.


Haley Fleming was walking on Glassy Mountain Road on June 13, 2020 when Michael Wilkins, now 41, crossed the center line in his Ford Focus and hit her before driving away. Wilkins pleaded guilty to hit and run involving a death and DUI. He was sentenced to nine years in prison and is currently serving time at Ridgeland Correctional Institute.


The Fleming family alleges that Wilkins was already intoxicated when he bought alcohol from Sandy Flat Grocery on Mountain View Road and O.S. Liquors on Groce Meadow Road on the night of the crash. They filed a wrongful death lawsuit on May 17th against the businesses and requested a jury trial.


Fox Carolina News reported they contacted O.S Liquors and were told the business was now under new ownership. Fox Carolina also contacted Sandy Flat Grocery and was told they were not made aware of the lawsuit.


In 2021 the Fleming family settled a wrongful death lawsuit against Wilkins for $50,000.



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