Dennis Ellmer launched Priority Automotive in 1998 with the purchase of Kline Chevrolet and Kline Toyota in Chesapeake, Virginia after a successful career at other automotive organizations.
Following those dealerships’ early success, Priority began an aggressive acquisition and expansion program. Soon the Priority brand rose in front of Acura, Honda and Hyundai dealerships as the company built one of the largest Toyota dealerships in America and a new Honda outlet, all in Chesapeake. At the same time, opportunities arose in Richmond where Priority built new Toyota, Nissan and Volkswagen dealerships, as well as two collision repair centers and two used car operations. Priority also acquired a Honda dealership in the Charlotte suburb of Huntersville and acquired Honda and Toyota dealerships in Hampton, and Nissan dealerships in Newport News, Williamsburg and Chantilly, VA, . Today the Priority brand is represented at 18 dealerships in 8 cities. Priority employs more than 2000 people and is ranked among the top dealer groups in the U.S.