By on October 8, 2018

You may recall news from earlier this year of All Pro Nissan and its associated dealers, most of whom starred in Episode #4391 of the seemingly never-ending series titled “Dealers Behaving Badly.”

At the time, the entities – owned in part by a consortium of former NFL players – were being taken to task by the captive finance arms of Nissan and Hyundai over allegations that parts of the dealer group sold hundreds of vehicles, worth more than $10 million, out of trust and also failed to repay floorplan loans.

So what’s the punishment for these alleged misdeeds? Why, another brand new dealership, of course!

Honda appears to be nonplussed by the allegations lodged by its peers. According to those in the know, the big H seems to be standing by a plan that calls for the opening of a 100,000+ sq.ft store in Grapevine, Texas, for the purpose of selling Accords, Civics, and CR-Vs. Alrighty, then.

From Automotive News:

Grapevine Honda is “the current candidate for this open point,” an American Honda spokeswoman wrote in an email to Automotive News. An evidence of franchise form filed with Texas for Grapevine Honda was signed in September 2017 by Jeff Conrad, senior vice president of American Honda, who has since retired.

Former NFL player Jessie Armstead and auto industry veteran Michael Saporito are working to open this potential store in Grapevine, while already holding stakes in two other Honda dealerships. Those outlets are located in the locales of Hazle and Hamilton Townships.

This, naturally, has sparked an outcry from existing Honda dealers located near to the proposed new outlet. Seeking to stop the dealership license application, a quartet of Texas Honda dealers doing business in places like Fort Worth and Arlington filed protests with the state a year ago, long before the alleged troubles surfaced at All Pro.

Here’s a fun fact with which to hit your gearhead buddies: in Texas, same-brand dealers within a 15-mile radius of a proposed new retail outlet can lodge these protests and seem to do so on grounds that the brand is already well represented in the area. All the protests described here have apparently been dismissed, some through “confidential settlements.” The mind reels with what those terms could include. Given the timeline, these dealers would have registered and subsequently settled the protests before the alleged nefarious All Pro activity was uncovered by the Hyundai and Nissan captive finance arms. One wonders if they would have been as quick to do so if they knew this was coming down the pipe.

Texas-based design firm GFF currently lists the Grapevine Honda project amongst its portfolio of work, where it is described as a 108,000 square foot dealership integrating the image requirements of Honda’s corporate identity program. According to the site, the project is set to begin construction “this year.” I’m besotted by that Honda-badged F-150 in the company’s artist rendering shown at the top of this post, by the way.

A past attempt by Armstead to secure a Toyota franchise in the area never got off the ground.

[Image: Grapevine Honda]

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11 Comments on “Rewarding Bad Behavior? Honda Dealer Plans in Texas Raise Eyebrows...”

  • avatar
    CKNSLS Sierra SLT

    In other words….it’s business as usual in the car retail business world…..

    Manufacturers don’t car how the cars are sold….as long as the “metal is moved”.

  • avatar

    Looks like they have some previous-body F150s pictured right out in front, with huge H badges on the front, no less.

  • avatar

    Jessie Armstead was well known here in Dallas as being a linebacker for the 1988 Carter High School Cowboys, a team stripped of its UIL state football championship, after losing a battle with the UIL to keep academically-ineligible players on the field. Six players were later arrested and convicted in 21 armed robberies, part of a group of 15 Carter students (Armstead was not one of those involved, but failed to inform school officials and police of his knowledge of those involved). Armstead later played college football at Miami (FL), and then in the NFL for the Giants and the Redskins.

    • 0 avatar

      When I was in Plano for a bit, I couldn’t believe the insanity surrounding high school football down there. If there ever was an institution which needed to be thoroughly destroyed, it’s that.

  • avatar
    Steve Lynch

    Tremendous pressure on carmakers to appoint minority candidates so American Honda can’t back down on this deal…

  • avatar

    How come TTAC does not report about gas in oil CRV problems ?????
    Consumer Report released a report (Oct 5) about Honda not responding to many customer complaints about gas in oil and heat problems in 2017 -18 CRV’s

  • avatar

    From Wikipedia…Following his 12-year career in the NFL, (Ray) Childress served as chairman and CEO for ten years of the Ray Childress Auto Group and a limited partner in the NFL franchise, Houston Texans.[7] RCAG operated the Lawrence Marshall auto dealerships in Houston, Texas and the small town of Hempstead, Texas, approximately fifty miles from Houston. Lawrence Marshall dealerships closed its doors on February 4, 2009.[8] The corporation closing can apparently be traced back to the national credit crunch when General Motors and Chrysler Corporation filed for bankruptcy. He also founded the Childress Directional Drilling, LLC.

    I bought my last truck from him in 1999, but still at the old location downtown Hempstead. They were in transition to the new facility up by the new highway. It was huge multi-brand dealership and I remember driving the Chevy up next to a Ford then a Dodge to compare them. I’m pretty sure they were in hock to their necks.

  • avatar

    I’ve from the Mid-Cities area (where they’re proposing building this). I’m sure that Huggins (North Richland Hills) and David McDavid (Irving) are probably not happy about this, but I’m sure that existing Honda owners in the Grapevine-Southlake-Colleyville area will be happy to not have to drive as far to get service.

    FYI I used to sell cars for Huggins and David McDavid

  • avatar

    A dealership that I used for sales and service of several cars is owned by a former player. From an inside source, the scum bags in sales run the show … the owner just “has the money and likes to test drive the new cars.”

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