Cliff Banks - The Banks Report

Lithia Acquires 18th Store This Year

October 6, 2016 — Lithia Motors announced this morning the acquisition of Audi Auto Gallery in Woodland Hills, CA, from co-founders Harrison Gray and Tony Schwartz. It is Lithia’s 18th dealership acquired this year. The additional $120 million in annual revenue created by the acquisition brings Lithia’s total to approximately $1 billion in acquired revenue this year.

Lithia will relocate the store to Calabasas, CA and renaming it Audi Calabasas.

The Auto Gallery still has Maserati, Alfa Romeo, Fiat, Porsche, McLaren and Pagani franchises.

Since January 2013, Lithia has acquired 68 stores, including the 18 this year. The publicly traded dealer group, based in Medford, OR, acquired recently closed on the 13-store Carbone Group in New York and Vermont. Other dealerships acquired this year include Riverside Subaru in Riverside, CA in January and Ira Toyota in Milford, MA from Group 1 Automotive in February. Lithia also acquired a GMC Buick franchise in Helena, MT. It recently closed on Kemp Ford in Thousand Oaks, CA (renamed it DCH Ford).

Company executives told analysts in late July that acquisition activity will pick up in the second half primarily because prices are starting to become more realistic. However, other public group executives have indicated that buying activity the rest of the year will be muted due to sellers’ expectations of higher prices.

Meanwhile, AutoNation has acquired 17 dealerships this year, including 12 Allen Samuels stores in March, four luxury dealerships in New York and a store in Centennial, CO.

The Penske Automotive Group announced this week it has acquired eight dealerships in Italy giving it 16 in that country. The eight stores sell six franchises: (Porsche [3], Audi, Land Rover and Volvo).   The franchises are located in the strategic northern Italian market area of Bologna.


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