Teddy Morse told Automotive News that he learned about the Lindsay stores in the fall.

“Missouri is a great car market; it’s actually a great truck market,” he said. “We’ve just been looking to grow for the last couple of years.”

Morse said meeting the dealerships’ staffs sold him on expanding into Missouri. The group also has stores in Florida, Oklahoma and Texas.

“We could buy buildings, we could buy dirt, we can buy cars anywhere in the country,” Morse said. “But the people, the people are what makes the store run.”

Ed Morse group on Wednesday acquired Fairground Auto Plaza in Rolla from Rhinehart, which has been renamed Ed Morse Chevrolet-Buick-GMC Rolla. Morse said Performance Brokerage Services, a dealership buy-sell firm in Irvine, Calif., that handled both transactions, told him about the opportunity as he was looking at the Lindsay stores.

Rolla also is along I-44, and all four stores are within about an hour’s drive and give the group “a nice footprint,” Morse said.

Ed Morse Automotive ranks No. 60 on Automotive News‘ list of the top 150 dealership groups based in the U.S., retailing 14,169 new vehicles in 2020. The group last year generated more than $1.3 billion in revenue.