Fuccillo car dealerships in Watertown, Adams sold to Wally’s | Business

WATERTOWN — There’s been a huge shake up in the world of north country auto dealerships.

Local auto dealerships owned by William B. “Billy” Fuccillo have been sold, almost a year after his death.

Fuccillo Automotive Group has sold a Mitsubishi dealership in Watertown and Chrysler Dodge Jeep Ram and Ford dealerships in Adams.

The deal does not include Fuccillo Import in Watertown or Fuccillo Chevrolet in Adams, said Kevin Hadley, Fuccillo Auto Group sales manager.

The new owner was not interested in the Import dealership, while the future of the Chevy location might be clearer in three to six months, he said.

The deal was finalized on Thursday.

Taking over is Wally’s Auto Group, owned by Wally Darwish, who has dealerships in New Jersey and Long Island.

The New York showrooms will take his first name in the title of the dealerships. For instance, it will be Wally’s Ford of Adams.

Mr. Darwish met with employees at local dealerships on Friday, Mr. Hadley said.

“I worked for Billy for 22 years,” Mr. Hadley said. “(Wally) reminds me of Billy. He’s a great guy.”

Since he died last June, it’s been an unsettling time for Fuccillo employees while they grieved Mr. Fuccillo’s death and wondered about the future of the company.

But now employees know what’s to come for the dealerships, Mr. Hadley said.

“It was a sigh of relief for employees,” he said. “Employees I talked to, I think, are motivated, most of all.”

All Fuccillo employees will remain with the new auto group, he said.

Mr. Fuccillo died at age 65 after his health declined over an extended period. He was widely recognizable for his television commercials in which he promoted his business with the tagline, “It’s huuuuge.” He started his automotive empire when he opened his first dealership on Route 11 in Adams in 1989.

Before his death, Mr. Fuccillo sold dealerships in New York and Florida. But the auto group maintained 20 other locations throughout the two states.

The sale of the local Fuccillo dealerships is among a total of 10 in New York that Wally’s has acquired. The purchase price was not divulged.

Other Mitsubishi, Chrysler Dodge Jeep Ram, Ford and Nissan dealerships were sold in Seneca Falls, Amsterdam, Schenectady, Latham, East Greenbush and Nelliston.

According to the company’s website, Wally’s is “New York’s Newest Car Shopping Destination.”

Mr. Fuccillo’s son, William B. Fuccillo, has remained president of the Fuccillo Auto Group.

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