Automobile

Dealer Bernie Moreno unable to buy back Cleveland-area dealership

Moreno told Automotive News last month that he owned a 50 percent interest in the dealership and planned to buy the full interest.

But last week, Moreno said a financial transaction for that stake never happened. Moreno said he agreed last August to run the dealership for Rafih after he “ran into difficulties with operating the store,” but with the understanding that Moreno would eventually buy the dealership.

“Terry let me know on April 12th that he did not want to move forward and had changed his mind,” Moreno wrote in an email. “Therefore, he now operates and owns 100 percent of the dealership.”

Moreno, who said he hasn’t had any involvement in Cleveland Motorsports since April 15, said he had planned to have his son become dealer principal and owner of the dealership if he won the Senate seat.

Moreno, 54, of Westlake, Ohio, on April 6 announced his Senate bid, running as a Republican. He is hoping to succeed Republican Sen. Rob Portman, who isn’t seeking reelection. Portman’s term ends in 2022.

Now, it appears Moreno may be exiting dealership ownership — something he had been moving toward after selling several dealerships the past few years. And his vehicle subscription business, Drive Options, was hit by the coronavirus pandemic and hasn’t reopened, he said.

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