Palm Beach Motor Cars, a family business and fixture in downtown West Palm Beach, is under contract to be sold to cable pioneer Stephen Myers of Palm Beach.
Palm Beach Motor’s co-owner Robert Simpson Jr. this week confirmed the pending sale of the luxury car dealer. Simpson said the move was being made for “personal reasons,” because the family has been interested in selling the business for some time. The deal with Myers came about through friendship with Simpson’s brother Mark, a co-owner, Simpson said.
Palm Beach Motor Cars consists of Jaguar Palm Beach, ranked No. 1 in sales in the country in 2012, and Aston Martin Palm Beach. Both are at 915 South Dixie Highway, at Okeechobee Boulevard and Dixie Highway. Also in the group is Land Rover Palm Beach at 7550 Okeechobee Blvd.
Simpson said the Myers family will maintain the car dealership there. He said his son, Robert IV, general manager, will stay on with the new ownership group. Myers’ son, Stephen Jr., will join the auto business.
Simpson said a closing is expected by year end. Even after the dealership sells, plans are for him to help with the transition. Simpson said he will maintain an undisclosed equity position in the new ownership group.
“I enjoy what I get to do,” Simpson said, “and (Myers) is going to watch us run it for a while and integrate his son into the business. I’ll be running it for the next three years and transition out of my stewardship.”
It’s the end of an era for the longtime family business, which has grown along with the city. The company was founded as a used car lot and service center in 1979 by Norman Gregersen and Simpson’s father, also named Robert. Together they built the business into a luxury car powerhouse. Both men passed away in 1997.
Robert Simpson, who owns the business with his brother, has continued the dealership’s growth, leading it to record sales.
Both men are involved in the community and participate in a number of charity events.
Robert Simpson also is a leader in various civic organizations. Until recently, he was chairman of the board of Palm Beach Atlantic University and still serves on the board of trustees. He is on the board of the Chamber of Commerce of the Palm Beaches. He also is active in his church, Christ Fellowship.
Dennis Grady, chamber president for the past 27 years, said Simpson’s business success is a combination of his ability to spot trends in the auto industry and his dedication to listening to his customers’ needs.
“They’ve been a tremendous asset to Palm Beach County,” Grady said. “I hope the new owners will pick up the baton and will be as involved as the Simpsons have in our community. I think they will.”
Myers, who did not return phone calls seeking comment, co-founded U.S. Cable Group in 1975 and built it into one of the biggest privately owned cable operators in the United States, according to a profile in Forbes magazine. He also owns the Silver Hilton Steelhead Lodge in British Columbia.
An avid hunter and fly fisherman, Myers lives in Palm Beach and is known for his latest venture: Pine Creek Sporting Club, a 2,500-acre hunting plantation in Okeechobee.