Public vehicle shops go on a acquiring spree

Sims expects the publics to remain active purchasers as Lithia Motors’ getting spree “has set some force on the other publics.”

In February, AutoNation, Penske Automotive Team, Group 1 Automotive and Sonic Automotive each indicated they were once again on the hunt to buy franchised dealerships and broaden retail store counts.

Due to the fact then, they’ve started to make promotions come about.

Team 1 in March purchased two Toyota merchants in Massachusetts. Penske in June acquired a Mercedes-Benz store in North Carolina. Sonic previous month bought two dealerships — Subaru and Volkswagen retailers — in Colorado, immediately after a virtually 7-calendar year lull in buying franchised retailers.

AutoNation in April introduced a offer to buy 11 outlets in Georgia and South Carolina from Peacock Automotive Group. That transaction is envisioned to near this summer season.

Mark Johnson, president of buy-promote agency MD Johnson in Enumclaw, Clean., claimed the public groups’ shopping for activity has accelerated.

“The posture with the publics has constantly been, ‘We’re usually acquirers, but we’re not shelling out any outrageous amounts of dollars.’ Mainly because there’s been this long-phrase perception that [annual industry vehicle sales] would settle down at a reduce variety,” Johnson mentioned. “And it has not.”

Ongoing powerful revenue has meant that publics that “did not receive, because they felt costs were being way too substantial, missed out on some genuinely superior property,” he explained.