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The dealership is taking on the Pinegar Honda name.
Courtesy Don Wessel Honda
The dealership is taking on the Pinegar Honda name.

Wessel Honda changes hands

Posted online

Last edited 5:20 p.m., Dec. 6, 2021

Two of the Springfield area’s best-known vehicle dealerships are combining, bringing together decades of experience from family names that are synonymous with the industry locally.

The Pinegar family is taking over Don Wessel Honda from John Wessel, who has led the company since his father, Don, died in 2012. The transaction, which makes Tad Pinegar the Honda dealership’s principal, closed Nov. 30 for undisclosed terms, according to a news release.

The 3520 S. Campbell Ave. dealership, which also includes a service center, is slated to take on the Pinegar Honda name, and the existing staff will remain intact.

“I’ve been so excited about acquiring the dealership and after spending the last few weeks getting to know the staff, I am even more excited about what a great dealership Pinegar Honda will become,” Pinegar said in a statement provided to Springfield Business Journal.

Pinegar and John Wessel were unavailable for an interview by press time.

The Pinegar family, which operates a Chevrolet dealership in Republic and a location in Branson that sells new Chevrolet, Buick and GMC vehicles, is expanding to Springfield with the acquisition of Wessel Honda. Pinegar officials say the family has been seeking a foothold in the Queen City for more than two decades.

“Don Wessel Honda has always been our first choice because they are synonymous with an outstanding reputation and excellent brand,” the statement reads. “Our family recognizes the reputation that Don Wessel has built, and we plan to continue that tradition.”

A Nov. 24 Facebook post from Wessel Honda first announced the deal.

“We are excited that a local, second-generation dealer has purchased the dealership,” the Facebook post reads. “Tad will continue the outstanding service that Don Wessel has been known for over the years and will keep all existing personnel.”

Don Wessel started as a Chevrolet salesperson in the 1950s in his hometown of Cincinnati, Ohio. After owning a Buick dealership in Tulsa, Oklahoma, Wessel moved to Springfield in 1966 to start an Oldsmobile dealership. In the 1970s, Wessel began selling Honda vehicles, according to SBJ archives. Oldsmobile was the flagship brand of Wessel’s dealership for more than three decades, but the company dropped the line after General Motors stopped manufacturing the vehicles.

As for the Pinegars, they’ve been in the automotive business for 42 years, with Tad’s father, Ed Pinegar, as the founder.

“Jon’s father, Don, and our founder, Ed Pinegar, were true pioneers in the automotive industry in Springfield and surrounding areas over the last 40 years. We strive to continue that tradition and reputation they worked so hard to build,” the statement reads.

Tad Pinegar has been preparing to take on the Honda brand by working with American Honda Motor Co., the North American subsidiary of the Japanese vehicle brand. The statement pointed to discussions with Melissa Piper, assistant zone manager for American Honda, who has guided Pinegar through the process of running a dealership focused on the brand.

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