New Country Auto Center has been sold to Rydell Chevrolet of Grand Forks, N.D.
Nancy Ariano, owner of the auto center, said she hadn’t thought about selling the dealership, but Rydell is the perfect fit for the Durango community because it values communities.
“It’s earlier than I would have chosen, but it is the right thing at the right time,” the 61-year-old Ariano said Friday.
Ariano met Wes Rydell – owner of Rydell Chevrolet – when Ariano owned a separate dealership in Grand Forks 32 years ago. They were put in contact again recently, and the deal came to fruition about a month ago. Ariano said she didn’t make a final decision to sell until Monday.
Rydell is known for buying dealerships in small towns and then transferring ownership to the manager over time, Rydell said. Mike Aus will manage and eventually own the auto center and has worked for Rydell for 25 years.
Aus owned a store in a Wisconsin town with a population of 7,500 and said he always wanted to move his family to Colorado.
The selling price of the dealership hasn’t been determined, Ariano said, but her main concern was for her employees.
“I love my employees. I want them to have a good future,” she said. “My employees are my best friends and my family. I’m giving them a future that I can’t provide for them.”
No employees will be laid off with the change in leadership, Aus said.
The deal won’t be official for another two months pending approval of the car manufacturers.
No changes are in the works right now for the auto center, but Rydell is always looking to expand its businesses, Aus said.
Ariano also has a New Country Auto Center in Cortez in which she will retain ownership.