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Published in Economic Development

Muskegon-based Betten Baker to offer full GM lineup after Witt Buick acquisition

BY Tuesday, December 15, 2020 04:56pm

MUSKEGON — Auto dealership Betten Baker Chevrolet-Cadillac-GMC is now one of the few GM dealerships in the country to provide the automaker’s full line of brands after a recent acquisition.

Muskegon-based Betten Baker Auto Group announced on Monday that it bought the Buick franchise from Witt Buick, which is also located in Muskegon and stands as one of the oldest GM dealerships in the U.S.

Witt Buick will continue its business as Witt Sales, Service & Collision and will provide pre-owned sales, service and collision repair while retaining all of its current staff.

The dealership’s new Buick vehicle operation transfers to Betten Baker, located at 2474 Henry St. in Muskegon, where consumers can now find vehicles from every GM brand on the market.

“It’s a great addition to our GM franchise,” Betten Baker Auto Group co-owner Bryan Betten told MiBiz. “There are not a lot of full-line GM stores in the area. I’m not even sure how many are in Michigan. …I think (Buick is) a great brand and it will complete what we already have.”

Betten Baker Auto Group operates dealerships in Coopersville, Twin Lake, Lowell, Grandville, Big Rapids, Allegan, Ludington, Alma, Ithaca, Midland, South Haven, Cadillac and Hudsonville.

In line with the consensus of fellow dealers, Betten acknowledged that demand continues to remain high for automobiles even throughout the COVID-19 pandemic and that keeping lots stocked amid an inventory shortage has been a challenge.

“Different parts of the supply chain have been hampered along the way and plants haven’t been at full capacity at times,” Betten said. “It’s been kind of touch and go.”

Meanwhile, Witt Sales, Service & Collision continues to stick around in the market after nearly losing its Buick affiliation back in 2009 during the Great Recession.

At the time, GM filed for bankruptcy and announced that it would break ties with more than 2,500 dealerships across the U.S. Witt Buick was originally slated to lose its affiliation, though the automaker changed course before a scheduled arbitration hearing.

“While it is sad to see the Witt Buick new car operation come to end, we are grateful the Buick tradition will continue right here in Muskegon,” owner Jan Witt said in a statement. “We are so proud of our business’s heritage and are confident in the Betten Baker team’s ability to care for new Buick customers long into the future.”

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