Ciasulli family sells Planet Honda to Lithia Auto Group

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UNION, NJ – MD Johnson, Inc. announces the completion of the sale of Planet Honda of Union New Jersey to Lithia Auto Group. Planet Honda, with revenues of 230 million dollars annually, retailed 6,146 New Honda’s and 2118 pre-owned, from Planet’s Route 22 location in Union New Jersey. Lithia has retained the “Planet” Brand in the Tri-State area and will continue to operate as Planet Honda. No sales price was disclosed.

The Ciasulli family has a lengthy track record of success in the automobile business, especially with Honda. The dealership has been in the family for nearly 60 years, starting out as a Pontiac dealership. In 1973 the Ciasulli family was awarded 4 Honda franchises which included the Union location.

Tim Ciasulli, President and owner of Planet Honda took over management 44 years ago. The Union dealership started out as Maxon Honda and became Planet Honda in 1996. Planet has been in the Top 5 nationally for all Honda dealerships over the past ten years. In addition to volume, Planet Honda ranked at the very top of all Honda dealerships for sales and customer satisfaction.

Tim Ciasulli commented that “Lithia was the right fit for me and at the right time. They hired virtually every one of my employees and their processes during the transition are literally the best I have ever seen. Selling the dealership to Bryan DeBoer was literally like making a deal with a close friend.”

Mark Johnson and Fred O Halloran of MD Johnson Inc managed the transaction on behalf of Ciasulli.  Joe Aboyoun Esq. of Aboyoun Dobbs represented Ciasulli in the transaction. In the past 20 years, Mark Johnson has worked with Lithia on numerous projects and has sold dealerships to Lithia and sold dealerships for Lithia. Ciasulli will continue his automotive career at his brand new, state of the art, Planet Honda Dealership in Tilton New Hampshire.

MD Johnson, Inc. for the past 20 years, has provided automotive dealers with buy sell, strategic planning and financial advisory services. The firm advises dealers, both public and private on the purchase, sale, analysis, succession and valuation of automobile dealerships, dealership platforms as well as dealership real estate through their wholly owned real estate entity, MDJ Realty Inc. The firm represents clients nationwide supporting their buy sell activities and has advised on several Billion dollars in transactions. The firm has also worked extensively as the advisor to court appointed receivers.