Will update with a few more details later on the home page:
BELLINGHAM – A longtime Whatcom County auto dealership was sold to an Oregon company.
Jerry Chambers Chevrolet Cadillac was sold to Lithia Motors Inc. of Medford, Ore. The sale was completed over the weekend and the Chambers dealership was closed on Monday, April 30 for employee training and getting operations transferred over to Lithia’s system. The dealership will open at 8 a.m. on Tuesday, May 1 and operate under normal hours, said John North, vice president of finance and corporate controller at Lithia.
North said they are planning on a seamless transition with no major changes at the dealership. The 55 employees at the dealership will remain in place. Terms of the sale were not disclosed.
The dealership has been a fixture in Whatcom County for decades. In 1973, Jerry Chambers joined Roy Robinson as part owner of Robinson-Chambers Chevrolet in Ferndale. Chambers assumed full ownership in 1983, moving the dealership to Northwest Avenue in Bellingham in 1987. Chambers died in February 2007 and has been operated by the Chambers family for the past five years.
Lithia was founded in 1946 as a Chrysler-Plymouth-Dodge dealership in Ashland, Ore. The company steadily grew across southern Oregon and became a publicly traded company in December 1996. It’s currently one of the largest automotive retailers, with more than 100 dealerships listed throughout the West and Midwest on its website.
North said the company tends to look at markets around Bellingham’s size and smaller when looking for dealerships, because that’s how the company itself started. He said they were particularly interested in the Chambers dealership and its roots in the community.
“It’s a store that fits our profile,” North said.