There are few auto franchises in New England with stronger name recognition than the Boch brand. But the father-son team of Dan and Chris Dagesse have decided they want to try something new with their eight former Boch dealerships.
Or maybe make that something “Nu” — as in “Nucar.”
The Dagesse family’s auto empire, Norwood-based DCD Automotive Holdings, has rebranded its Boch dealerships with the Nucar name, a flag DCD has flown over other dealerships it purchased in recent years.
The affected dealerships include the Boch Honda and Boch Toyota stores on the “Automile” stretch of Route 1 in Norwood — a place made legendary in large part through the once-ubiquitous ads from Ernie Boch Sr. and later his son, Ernie Boch Jr.
The Dagesse family originally picked up the Nucar name through an acquisition in Delaware more than a decade ago. Dan and Chris Dagesse launched a rollup of New England dealerships in 2015, starting with the purchase of five Boch locations that year from Ernie Boch Jr. DCD added the Boch name to three others — Chevrolet and Hyundai dealerships in Norwood, and a Nissan dealership in North Attleborough — that it later acquired amid its expansion.
Eventually, however, the Nucar name won out as a preferred unifying brand for DCD’s holdings. With the launch planned for an updated car-shopping website, DCD decided it was finally time to move the Boch stores under the Nucar umbrella.
“We decided we wanted to have one platform, one name,” said Chris Dagesse, DCD’s president. “It was not an easy decision. Everyone around Boston knows the name ‘Boch.’”
Temporary signs just went up at the eight dealerships. The other locations getting rebranded are Boch Nissan in Norwood, Boch Toyota in North Attleborough, and Boch Honda in Westford, all part of the five dealerships DCD bought in 2015. Permanent signs will be installed by the end of the month, along with the launch of the new Nucar websites.
There will eventually be the obligatory onslaught of radio, TV, and digital ads to help familiarize New England motorists with the Nucar brand. And DCD already inked a multiyear deal to sponsor concerts at Fenway Park earlier this year.
“I can’t say I’m going to re-create 80 years of Boch branding in a matter of years,” Chris Dagesse said. “That would be silly. But going forward, we wanted to have our own brand, our own vision.”
In recent years, DCD has steadily gobbled up a number of small, independent dealerships across New England. The DCD group now boasts 25 locations, putting it roughly on par with the Balise group, long the second biggest independent auto retailer in New England after Herb Chambers Cos.
DCD’s latest acquisition: a Nissan dealership in Keene, N.H., that was just added to the lineup in October. DCD is also eyeing more growth outside of New England, where the Boch name is not as well known.
Ernie Boch Jr., meanwhile, made news of his own this week. He unveiled a redesigned standalone Maserati store in Norwood on Wednesday night, next to his Ferrari dealership. Boch doesn’t own any other auto dealerships beyond those two, but he does still have a major distributor, Subaru of New England.
For his part, he was diplomatic when asked about DCD’s decision to drop his family name from its dealerships.
“There are many ways to success, not just one,” Boch said. “Some people can’t handle a legacy company. Some choose a different path. I wish DCD all the luck in the future to be a very successful company.”