Van Horn Group adds Iowa Ford dealership

The Van Horn Automotive Group has announced another dealership acquisition in Benton County. Schallau Motor Company, located at 102 Fourth St. in Van Horne, Ia., was purchased by Van Horn in August and will move into their modern 34,000 square foot Newhall location at 7300 28th Ave.This marks the third Ford dealership for the Wisconsin-based Van Horn Automotive Group; including Van Horn Ford of Oconomowoc and Van Horn Ford of Lomira. It also marks the second Van Horn dealership in the state of Iowa.

“We’re very excited to acquire two of Iowa’s oldest dealerships, Grovert Chevrolet and Schallau Ford, and combine them into a large, modern facility with a central location,” said Van Horn of Newhall executive manager Jon Bell. “Our large new car inventory from two of the strongest American brands, combined with over 1800 pre-owned vehicles in the Van Horn Auto Group network will provide excellent options for buyers in the Benton County, Cedar Rapids and Iowa City area.”

Grovert Chevrolet was started in Newhall, Iowa 107 years ago by William Grovert. The dealership was owned most recently by William’s grandson Bill who operated it with his wife Susan until it sold to Van Horn Automotive Group.

Schallau has a family history of its own and a connection to Grovert Chevrolet. Schallau Motor Company was started in 1911 by Con Schallau, grandfather of recent owner Steve Schallau. Prior to buying the Ford dealership, Steve worked at Grovert Chevrolet for 22 years.

“Our family is grateful to our customers for the years we were able to continue the Ford tradition in Van Horne, Iowa,” said Steve Schallau. The tradition continues, as Schallau family members Darcy and Scott joined the Van Horn Ford Chevrolet of Newhall team, along with all the former Grovert staff and additional new employees from the Cedar Rapids and Benton county area.

Iowa holds a special place in the Van Horn family history. “My great grandparents immigrated from Ireland and settled in Ainsworth, near Washington, Iowa,” said Chuck Van Horn, Chief Executive Officer of Van Horn Automotive Group. “We celebrated our centennial on the family farm about 10 years ago, which is still owned by our cousins and fourth generation farmers Pat and Paul Tobin of Ainsworth.”

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