Kufleitner sells Salem dealership to Wally Armour, moving to Boardman

The Salem Chrysler Jeep Dodge and Ram Truck dealership on the bypass north of Salem will change hands when J.R. Wally Armour takes possession from John Kufleitner’s Kufleitner Auto Group on Nov. 1. (Salem News photo by Larry Shields)

SALEM — The Salem Chrysler Jeep Dodge and Ram Truck dealership owned by John Kufleitner of the Kufleitner Auto Group has been sold to J.R. Armour effective Nov. 1, Kufleitner said Monday.

The dealership will be renamed Wally Armour Chrysler Dodge Jeep Ram Salem.

J.R. Armour currently owns the Chrysler Jeep Dodge dealership at 1950 W. State St. in Alliance.

Kufleitner also owns Columbiana Chrysler Jeep Dodge at 100 Commerce Circle, Columbiana, John Kufleitner’s Galleria of Vintage, Classic & Pristine Cars, and the Just Like New Collision Repair & Classic Car Restoration, both at 13134 Salem-Alliance Road, Salem.

The Salem Chrysler dealership is located at 400 Legacy Lane where it was relocated several years ago.

Kufleitner said he didn’t want to leave the Salem market, but a little over a year ago Chrysler approached him about opening a dealership in Boardman.

“They wanted to be in Boardman and they wanted me to be the dealer,” Kufleitner said, explaining, “because of monopoly laws you cannot own in three connecting or contiguous markets.”

He was left with the choice of selling either his Columbiana or Salem location and the bottom line was if he didn’t take the Boardman point someone else would.

“I didn’t want someone to come into my market,” he said. “This gives me Columbiana and Boardman and (it gives) J.R. Armour Alliance and Salem.

“I had no intention of leaving Salem, but I feel whoever goes to Boardman will have the upper hand on the Chrysler market in the whole Mahoning Valley.”

He is currently negotiating with three or four property owners in Boardman and noted, “It will take a minimum of a year to build and open. We’re hopeful to be open in the 2018 calendar year.”

The employment situation will remain “pretty much” unchanged and the lion’s share of the current new inventory will be headed to the Columbiana dealership. Pre-owned vehicles will be moved to John Kufleitner’s Galleria of Vintage, Classic & Pristine Cars on Salem-Alliance Road.

“Customers who want to continue doing business with us can do so currently in Columbiana,” said Kufleitner, “and will be able to continue to do so when we move to Boardman.”

Kufleitner added, “I am very familiar with the Boardman market as I was general manager in a Chrysler store there for many years.”

He added, “We feel we can service Columbiana County with one dealership. It’s been my extreme pleasure to serve the good people of Salem and have built a lot of great relationships and will continue to strengthen those relationships.

“I think we’ve done well by Salem and they’ve done well by us, too.”

Kufleitner said, “This is my last hurrah. I won’t be buying or building anymore dealerships after this one as per instructions from my wife, Beth Bezeredi Kufleitner, the real CEO of the Kufleitner Auto Group.”

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