UPDATE: This post was updated on Dec. 7 at 6:45 p.m. to correctly name the buyer as Bennett Automotive Group, not Bennett Toyota.

The Ebersole group of auto dealerships, one of Lebanon County’s iconic family-owned businesses, has been sold to Allentown-based Bennett Automotive Group.

Chris Zerfass, a co-owner of Bennett, confirmed the sale in a Dec. 7 phone call.

Ebersole operates three new car dealerships on West Cumberland Street in Lebanon: Buick-GMC, Honda, and Hyundai, plus a used car business on East Cumberland Street known as Ebersole Brothers.

Zerfass said all four are included in the sale, which he expected to be finalized on Dec. 8.

Known to Lebanon car buyers for decades as Ebersole Pontiac, the family-owned business was founded in 1920 by Irvin Ebersole.

Bennett, formed in 1951, operates a four-year-old Toyota dealership in Lebanon and multiple dealerships in the Lehigh Valley.

Read More: The new Bennett Toyota facility on Route 422 opens for business

Zerfass said the Ebersole dealerships will now carry the Bennett name.

Calls to Ebersole’s president, Andrew Ebersole, had not been returned by publication time.

Zerfass said the Bennett organization loves Lebanon and respects the Ebersole family’s century of accomplishments.

“There aren’t many auto dealers any more that are fourth-generation,” he said. “And we just thought, being in Lebanon for almost four years now, we love this market. There’s a lot of growth.”

Read More: Online shopping may be hot, but Bennett believes car sales is a people business

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Chris Coyle

Chris Coyle writes primarily on government, the courts, and business. He retired as an attorney at the end of 2018, after concentrating for nearly four decades on civil and criminal litigation and trials. A career highlight was successfully defending a retired Pennsylvania state trooper who was accused,...