Mergers and Acquisitions

Carvana acquires pioneer of 360-degree used-vehicle digital tours

PHOENIX - 

Since Carvana retails used vehicles online, evidently the company wants to make sure its inventory is highlighted in one of the most state-of-the-art ways possible.

According to an announcement distributed on Tuesday, Carvana has acquired fellow technology innovator Car360, accelerating Carvana’s 360-degree photo technology capabilities with 3D computer vision and augmented reality (AR).

More than five years ago, Carvana insisted that Car360 pioneered the 360-degree used vehicle digital tour, showcasing each car’s features and imperfections in high resolution, all powered by proprietary technology and patented photo studios. Officials explained Car360 has taken the concept mobile, enabling app-based photo capture and even more immersive viewing capabilities.

“Carvana and Car360 both believe in the power of putting amazing technology in the hands of the customer so they can make one of the largest purchase decisions of their life with transparency and confidence,” said Ernie Garcia, founder and chief executive officer of Carvana.

“Bringing the Car360 team into the fold, we add even more entrepreneurial strength in computer vision, AR and app-based photo capture,” Garcia continued. “This technology unlocks a number of exciting capabilities that will further our mission to change the way people buy cars.”

An early iteration of Car360 launched in 2012 as a 360-degree panoramic video app called Cycloramic, and at one point became the No. 1 downloaded app on the Apple App Store with more than 20 million downloads.

In 2013, the wildly successful app caught the attention of Mark Cuban on Shark Tank, leading to an initial investment that eventually increased as part of a $3.55 million Series A financing round for Car360 in 2017.

“We have long admired Carvana’s pioneering 360 work, and couldn’t be more excited to team up,” said Bruno Francois, founder of Car360. “Focusing our technology and innovation within the disruptive force Carvana has established in the industry means we can realize the full potential of our technology more quickly, and at significant scale — we’re looking forward to seeing what’s possible, together.”

As one of the first commercially available uses of 3D computer vision, machine learning and AR technology for the automotive industry, Car360 joins Carvana at an exciting time of hyper-growth, when more and more consumers are ditching the dealership to buy online.

“The Car360 mission is to change the way companies capture and tell a car’s story, which aligns perfectly with Carvana’s mission to change the way people buy cars,” said John Hanger, chief executive officer of Car360.

The full Car360 team will transition to Carvana, including Francois, Hanger and chief computer vision scientist Grant Schindler.

Nissan and SiriusXM extend agreement through 2023

NEW YORK - 

Nissan dealers can continue to highlight the benefits of satellite radio in many of the automaker’s vehicles — including certified pre-owned models.

On Wednesday, SiriusXM announced an agreement with Nissan North America that extends the ongoing relationship between the two companies for five more years and through the 2023 model year. Nissan and INFINITI customers will continue to get a three-month introductory SiriusXM All Access subscription — SiriusXM’s most expansive programming package, which includes access to the SiriusXM mobile app — with the purchase of equipped vehicles.

Customers purchasing properly equipped Nissan and INFINITI vehicles will also receive a three-month subscription to the SiriusXM Traffic and SiriusXM Travel Link infotainment services. Certain models and trim levels will include extended infotainment services subscriptions.

Customers who purchase Nissan and INFINITI certified pre-owned vehicles will also continue to receive a three-month introductory subscription to SiriusXM All Access.

SiriusXM Traffic can help drivers avoid congestion before they reach it with detailed information on traffic speed, accidents, construction, road closures and more. SiriusXM Travel Link can deliver timely and helpful information to drivers and passengers including weather, fuel prices, sports scores, movie listings and stock prices.

Additionally, SiriusXM will be standard on all model year 2019 and model year 2020 Nissan Altima and Titan vehicles. 

“We are thrilled to extend our long-term relationship with Nissan North America,” said Christopher Lam, senior vice president and general manager of automotive partnerships for SiriusXM.

“Nissan has always been committed to staying on the leading edge of automotive technology and their dedication to reliability and design has established their vehicles among the most popular on the road today,” Lam continued. “We are proud to continue providing both Nissan and Infiniti customers with the benefit of SiriusXM's exceptional audio entertainment and infotainment services."

Group 1 grows Brazil operations with Toyota market acquisition, Honda store expansion

HOUSTON - 

Group 1 Automotive announced Monday that the company has gained new Toyota sales territory in São Paulo, Brazil and will also relocate one of its top Honda dealerships in the area.

Group 1 built its newly opened T-Drive Toyota Alphaville dealership after purchasing selected assets of the Toyota Alpha Trevo Automoveis store in the western São Paulo suburb of Alphaville.

The new store is Group 1’s fourth Toyota dealership in Brazil and is expected to generate $45 million in annualized revenues.

“Toyota is the largest brand partner for our company overall and we are excited to significantly expand our relationship in Brazil,” Group 1 president and chief executive officer Earl Hesterberg said in a news release.

“We see great growth potential for our existing stores and the new opportunities associated with this acquisition will provide a large Toyota operating footprint for us throughout Brazil's largest city," Hesterberg continued.

Group 1 was recently awarded several additional new Toyota points of representation, according to the company.

Among the four dealerships in the greater São Paulo metropolitan area operated by Group 1, the company said it plans to relocate its Honda dealership located in the suburb of São Bernardo do Campo to expand substantially.

“We have enjoyed great success with the Honda brand in Brazil, even during the severe market downturn,” Hesterberg explained. “The relocation of Honda São Bernardo do Campo to a much larger facility with freeway visibility will likely enable us to double our revenue for this dealership in a fairly short period of time.”

Group 1 operates a total of 17 dealerships in Brazil, which includes BMW, Honda, Jaguar, Land Rover, MINI, Mercedes-Benz and Toyota.

fusionZONE buys dealer website design firm MotorWebs

PACIFIC PALISADES, Calif.  - 

fusionZONE Automotive has made a purchase that it says will help broaden its presence in the single-point dealer and dealer group spaces and make the company one of the Toyota Digital Dealer Solution program’s largest providers.

On Wednesday, the website solution provider announced plans to buy web design company MotorWebs.

Terms of the deal to buy MotorWebs, which specializes in car dealership websites, were not disclosed.

But fusionZONE, founded by husband-and-wife CEO and COO duo of Brett and Karen Sutherlin in 2009, emphasized it has more purchases on tap for the next year-and-a-half.  

As for the latest purchase, fusionZONE plans to open a third office in Seattle (beyond its two current offices in Florida and California). MotorWebs was started in Seattle in 2002 by Ron and Jan Clayton, who are spouses, as well.

fusionZONE plans to retain the MotorWebs staff.

“Ron and Jan Clayton deserve high praise for the amazing business they have built,” said Brett Sutherlin. “Both Karen and I immediately recognized the synergies of this deal, and have had a great time brainstorming with Ron and Jan to find additional areas of value creation for our customers.

“MotorWebs and fusionZONE are aligned in offering the absolute best to dealers in terms of technology and customer support. We immediately knew we could really scale the business.”

Ron Clayton added: “We have been watching the growth of fusionZONE and have been impressed with the high level of satisfaction reported by fusionZONE customers. Seeing the similarities between the two companies made this an easy decision for us.”

 

 

 

Changing retail market prompts some dealers to get bigger or get out

DETROIT - 

Dealership buyers who are seeking economies of scale and scope for their businesses and dealership sellers bent on getting as much as they can for their stores while the getting is good, are strengthening an already active buy/sell market.

Erin Kerrigan, managing director of Kerrigan Advisors, a dealership buy/sell advisory firm in Irvine Calif., said she is seeing more sellers coming to market because they are concerned about future changes in the retail auto business model.

“Electric vehicles have the potential to reduce service and parts revenue; autonomous vehicles could result in the reduction of car ownership; or it’s e-commerce, which could result in a more challenging sales environment or the subscription model, which could change the business model as well,” said Kerrigan. “Some are saying ‘if I can receive the kind of pricing that’s out there for my business, perhaps the most prudent thing to do is to sell today rather than pass along to my sons and daughters a business that may experience a great deal of disruption in the future’.”

Flattening new-vehicle sales and costly factory-mandated facility upgrades give dealers more reasons to call it quits, advisers said.

“Clearly, the consolidation of auto retailing has continued and if anything, picked up the pace,” said Sheldon Sandler, chief executive offi cer of Bel Air Partners, a buy/sell advisory firm in Hopewell, N.J. “We are seeing more business than ever.”

Acquisition activity down in 2017

Though the buy/sell market has been quite active over the last five years, activity was down in 2017, said Cliff Banks, president of The Banks Report, which tracks dealership buy/sells.

About 332 dealerships changed hands in 2017, down from about 354 in 2016; publicly-held dealership groups acquired 23 dealerships last year, down from 39 in 2016, said Banks, whose Banks Report is based in suburban Detroit.

That means privately-owned dealership groups, family offices, private-equity groups and others are active dealership buyers and investors.

For example, in October, GPB Capital, a private-equity firm in New York, through its affiliate, Capstone Automotive Group, acquired “a major equity stake” in Prime Motor Group, which owned “25 dealerships and related businesses” in Massachusetts, Vermont, New Hampshire and Maine, according to an October 2017 press release on GPB Captial’s website.

“Capstone hopes to purchase additional new dealerships in New England under the Prime platform and expand into the Rhode Island market in the coming months and raise its annual revenue to $4.5 billion within the next five years,” the press release said.

In January, Atlanta Falcons wide-receiver Julio Jones opened Julio Jones Kia and Julio Jones Mazda in Tuscaloosa, Ala., where he  was a star player at the University of Alabama.The stores are being managed by the Carriage Automotive Group of Gainesville, Ga.

Public companies lead the way

Still, public companies lead the way when it comes to dealership buy/sells. Lithia Motors, which accounted for most of the buy/sell activity by public groups last year, is off to a robust start this year, as is Group 1 Automotive.

In the first two months of this year, Lithia acquired Honda and Acura dealerships in the Buffalo, N.Y., area; the Day Automotive Group in suburban Pittsburgh and Prestige Family of Fine Cars in Bergen County, N.J.

That’s on top of the 18 stores Lithia acquired and the one it opened in 2017.

“The plateauing new-vehicle sales environment seems to be further accelerating the number of acquisitions available, and we believe 2018 activity may exceed the 2017 total,” said Lithia’s CEO Bryan DeBoer, during the company’s quarterly conference call in February.

In January, Group 1 Automotive acquired Audi and Subaru dealerships in El Paso, Texas, and added a Land Rover franchise to an existing Jaguar dealership in the United Kingdom.

In late February, it announced the acquisition of five dealerships from Robinsons Motor Group, also in the U.K.

Pete DeLongchamps, Group 1 senior vice president of manufacturer relations, financial services and public aff airs, said the company’s dealerships in the U.K. and Brazil are a critical part of its business.

“We think it’s an area of growth; investors want growth,” said DeLongchamps, during an interview immediately following Group 1’s quarterly conference call.

International player wants out

And speaking of international strategies, Pendragon North America Automotive, part of Pendragon PLC, an independent operator of franchise dealerships in the U.K., is among the sellers, said Banks.

Pendragon North America is divesting its five locations in California that sell Jaguar, Land Rover, Aston Martin and Chevrolet, the parent company’s website said. Banks said some buyers from other countries pull out of the U.S. market because the retail automotive business is not as easy as it seems.

Manufacturers that exercise their right of fi rst refusal and real estate that is more valuable than the dealership that sits on it are some potential stumbling blocks, Banks said.

“Some had visions of buying up large numbers of dealerships and then they realized how difficult it is to get transactions done,” Banks said.

Expanded used-vehicle sales are a prominent part of most public groups’ strategy. For example, since January 2017, Penske Automotive Group acquired chains of used-car stores in the U.S. and the U.K. and plans to open three greenfield sites by mid-2019.

This year, Penske Automotive expects its standalone used-vehicle superstore operations to sell approximately 70,000 used cars and trucks and generate over $1 billion.

SinglePoint set to enhance vehicle history and values with repair technology on blockchain

SEATTLE - 

A vehicle that’s running properly certainly can be extremely helpful in ensuring the consumer stays current on the terms of the installment contract.

That potential benefit is why SinglePoint described its recent acquisition of ShieldSaver that expands the company’s blockchain initiatives into the automotive industry “in an exciting way.”

SinglePoint explained via a news release that it is a technology company aimed at disrupting the automotive repair and maintenance industry.

“A trojan horse within the automotive industry, ShieldSaver has unique permissions — through contracts with multiple companies — to enter locations that are typically off limits, obtain critical vehicle data at those locations, and then make contact with vehicle owners regarding needed repairs on their cars,” the company said.

For instance, ShieldSaver indicated that it is able to access vehicles parked in airport lots at Sacramento International Airport, Denver International and others, assess potential repair needs for those vehicles, and then leave information regarding the vehicle’s issues, along with ShieldSaver company contact information, for the vehicle owners.

“This is something that, currently, no other company is able to do,” SinglePoint said.

In addition to this unique ability to solicit repair work where other companies cannot go, ShieldSaver’s services will be further augmented by a blockchain solution currently being developed by SinglePoint. Because ShieldSaver is able to obtain physically verified vehicle data, the implementation of blockchain technology will allow the company to keep an irrefutable record of issues and repairs for those vehicles and provide key insights and analytics into the histories of individual cars. This will help greatly enhance transparency within the automotive industry when it comes to vehicle history.

As part of the acquisition of ShieldSaver, SinglePoint has grown its technology team with an additional five developers who are architecting the blockchain solution.

ShieldSaver set out on a mission to provide an easier and more transparent experience in the consumer auto industry. Collecting data regarding needed repairs and work that has been done on a car provides a better experience for car buyers and sellers all around.

“Buyers will consequently have trust in a car’s history, dealers can more easily assess market value, and banks will have confidence in that value,” SinglePoint said.

“By providing a solution in which all parties, from mechanics to insurance agencies to dealers, can contribute to the history of a vehicle, ShieldSaver will be able to provide a solution secured by blockchain that is accessible and transparent,” SinglePoint went on to say.

SinglePoint management predicted the ShieldSaver acquisition will provide an additional $1.25 million in revenue for 2018. The company has set a total goal of $10 million for the year, which can be achieved through acquisitions and internal projects about to be launched.

In addition to the ShieldSaver acquisition, SinglePoint is excited to announce that it will be expanding its blockchain development capabilities even further with plans to hire another team, which will be focused exclusively on designing and implementing the company’s blockchain solutions in the cannabis, medical and automotive industries.

A number of projects are currently in the design phase and will soon move to development. SinglePoint management plans to have the new team fully running by the beginning of May, “which will dramatically ramp up the launch of projects,” according to the company.

3 reasons why 2017 dealership buy/sell transactions topped 200 again

IRVINE, Calif. - 

Kerrigan Advisors identified a trio of reasons why the dealership buy/sell market surpassed 200 transactions for the fourth consecutive year in 2017.

According to the firm’s latest Blue Sky Report released on Monday, the factors driving market activity included dealership consolidation, profitability, and the growing number of sellers coming to market. Kerrigan Advisors determined many dealers reassessed succession plans in light of disruptive projections about the changing nature of auto retail, and the belief that only large groups will be able to successfully navigate the industry’s evolution. Sellers also cited concern over reliance on OEM incentives to support dealership profitability, as well as manufacturer facility requirements.  

“The economic benefits of consolidation continued to bring new buyers to market in 2017, and these new entrants included a growing number of international auto retailers,” said Erin Kerrigan, managing director of Kerrigan Advisors.

“These international buyers are primarily motivated by the tremendous consolidation opportunity in the US auto retail market, considered by many to be the most fragmented in the developed world,” Kerrigan continued. “High net worth individuals and family offices also sought investments in auto retail in 2017. All of these new entrants are highly attracted to the economies of scale available in US auto retail through meaningful consolidation.”

The Blue Sky Report, published by Kerrigan Advisors, includes analysis of all transaction activity in 2017 and lays out the high, average and low blue sky multiples for each franchise in the luxury and non-luxury segments for the quarter.

Blue Sky Report data and analysis from the 2017 full-year report also includes:

• 202 dealership buy/sell transactions were completed in 2017, according to Kerrigan Advisors’ research and The Banks Report, compared to 221 transactions in 2016.  After hitting a plateau in 2015 at 240 transactions, buy/sell activity declined slightly; Kerrigan Advisors expects an increase of activity in 2018 compared to 2017.

• Multi-dealership transactions declined slightly in 2017. The firm noted 51 multi-dealership transactions closed in 2017, resulting in an 11-percent decrease compared to the record year set in 2016. The size of some dealership groups is a motivating factor in the sale. Many are simply too large and too valuable to pass on to the next generation, particularly given predicted industry disruption.

• For 2017, domestics’ share of the buy/sell market remained steady at 43 percent; import luxury represented 20 percent of the buy/sell market in 2017, a disproportionate number considering that import luxury franchises represent just 9 percent of U.S. franchises.

• Public retailers’ acquisition spending increased 20 percent in 2017 compared to 2016, led by Lithia Motors.

• Private buyers, including new entrants to US auto retail, dominated the 2017 US dealership buy/sell market. Of the 343 franchises sold, 317 were acquired by private buyers.

Over 60 dealership groups now report over $1 billion in sales. That number is expected to grow considerably in the next five years, as the largest groups consolidate the industry.

The report also identified three key trends shaping this year buy/sell market, including:

• Tax reform benefits auto retail and results in increased buy/sell activity

• Dealers’ investment strategies shaped by auto retail’s expected evolution

• Dealership profit variability widens blue sky pricing ranges

“We expect 2018 to be a very active year for buy/sells with more private and public buyers eager to put their capital to work. These buyers believe growth is the answer to a changing auto retail environment and are eager to capitalize on economies of scale and scope,” added Ryan Kerrigan, managing director of Kerrigan Advisors. “We also expect more sellers coming to market in 2018, particularly given the drumbeat of change reverberating throughout the industry.”

Kerrigan Advisors is deeply involved in the buy/sell market having advised on the sale of 60 dealerships, including four of the Top 100 dealership groups (Sam Swope Auto Group, the Carbone Auto Group, the Tonkin Family of Dealerships, and Downtown LA Auto Group) since 2015. Kerrigan Advisors’ extensive experience representing the largest dealership groups in the country provides the firm with a unique perspective on the trends shaping the industry and today’s franchise values.

The Blue Sky Report, a Kerrigan Quarterly, is published four times a year and includes Kerrigan Advisors’ signature blue sky charts, multiples and analysis for each franchise in the luxury and non-luxury segments. To download The Blue Sky Report, go to this website.

Kerrigan Advisors also releases a monthly index, The Kerrigan Index, composed of the seven publicly traded auto retail companies with operations focused on the U.S. market.  The Kerrigan Index is designed to track dealership valuation trends, while also providing key insights into factors influencing auto retail. To access The Kerrigan Index, go to this website.

After acquiring Clarity Services, Experian launches alternative-data-driven solution

COSTA MESA, Calif. - 

Editor's Note: Story and headline updated for clarity and to correct timing of Experian's purchase of Clarity Services. Experian has rolled out its first innovation stemming from its purchase of Clarity in October.  

This past fall, two of the traditional credit bureaus each acquired a different specialist in alternative consumer credit data.

And now one of those credit bureaus, Experian, has rolled out its first offering from that purchase: Clear Early Risk Score.

According to an announcement distributed on Monday morning, Experian — through its acquisition of Clarity back in October  — now has increased visibility on more than 62 million consumers who rely on small-dollar loans, point-of-sale financing and auto title loans.

Experian highlighted that auto finance companies and other lenders can gain a previously unavailable view of consumer loan and payment activity, spanning both mainstream and alternative financing, from one of the most comprehensive consumer credit databases in the industry, while providing financial access to more consumers.

Following the Experian acquisition of Clarity Services in October, TransUnion made a similar move within the space and acquired FactorTrust last November.

Delivering on its commitment to help finance companies reduce risk and be more inclusive to consumers, Experian highlighted it is bringing its Clear Early Risk Score to market. This new score is designed to clear a wider path for more types of alternative credit data to be leveraged in lending and provides a unique view of how accounts are performing in the early stages of credit relationships.

To understand more about the market need surrounding this development, Clarity’s upcoming 2018 Subprime Lending Trends Report shows that installment loan sizes have increased by 17 percent since 2016, and non-prime consumers have shown improved stability over the last four years.

These trends, along with the fact that approximately one-third of U.S. adults depend on alternative financing, underscore how important this segment is to our economy. Experian insisted it is invested in bringing new types of data into the risk evaluation process to help make a difference in our evolving society.

Officials highlighted Clear Early Risk Score is designed to do just that — bring a deeper level of alternative data into focus with an unprecedented lens. The score was created using one of the most comprehensive repositories of positive and negative alternative financial services information available today, which can give institutions a view of financial behavior across the full U.S. lending spectrum.

The score, which applies unique analytics leveraging both Experian’s national credit bureau and Clarity Services’ specialty credit bureau, can predict a consumer’s creditworthiness over a 12-month period. This expanded early risk insight for finance companies can translate into improved access to credit for responsible borrowers.

“Our clients are constantly innovating when it comes to better understanding consumer financial behaviors. It’s at the heart of their business growth and customer relationships,” said Andrew Sheehan, general manager of Clarity Services at Experian.

“This comprehensive score taps Experian’s proven credit bureau and analytical expertise, along with our newest alternative credit data, to deliver insights spanning both mainstream and nontraditional lending,” Sheehan continued. “Making this connection is a major step forward for Experian clients and consumers.”

Experian pointed out that approximately 25 percent of U.S. consumers are considered “thin file” because they have fewer than five items in their traditional credit histories. These consumers often face significant obstacles to obtaining credit and have limited credit options.

By adding the information from alternative credit data sources, Experian thinks these consumers may gain more access to credit. Being able to assess risk and extend contracts confidently to borrowers with either thin or thick files is a unique benefit that will empower lenders and provide a complete picture of the consumer.

Experian went on to stress that greater visibility and transparency around payment behaviors is a critical element in lending in a post-recession environment. The company added that making the right decisions benefits not only the lender, but also the applicant.

“It’s our number one goal to improve credit access for millions of consumers. An increasing number of consumers in this country are relying on alternative finance products, and these individuals should be visible and able to build or rebuild credit with the positive payments they make,” said Alex Lintner, president of Experian Consumer Information Services.

“This is another step forward in our strategy to expand reach and be more inclusive. We are committed to helping create a better path for these consumers to secure affordable credit and financial opportunities.”

To learn more about trends in alternative financial services and the increased consumer visibility alternative credit data offers to lenders, Experian is hosting a free, 60-minute webinar on Tuesday at 1 p.m. (EST). Registration for the session can be completed here.

Group 1 acquires Mercedes-Benz, smart dealerships; appoints UK operations head

HOUSTON - 

Group 1 Automotive recently announced Mercedes-Benz and Smart franchise acquisitions from U.K.-based Robinsons Motor Group. The dealer group has also appointed Darren Guiver to serve as its U.K. operations managing director, a move that was effective Thursday.

The company acquired three smart franchises and five Mercedes-Benz franchises.

During Group 1’s quarterly conference call on Feb. 8, the company discussed looking for new-car dealership “opportunities” in the U.S., U.K. and Brazil markets.

The company has increased its U.K. operations to 47 dealerships, which includes 12 existing brands.

“We are pleased to further expand our global relationship with Mercedes-Benz through the addition of these five dealerships to our growing UK platform,” Group 1 chief executive officer Earl Hesterberg explained in a new release.

Group 1 said that it expects to generate an approximate $260 million in annualized revenues from the acquisition.

The newly acquired dealerships are located northeast of London in Suffolk and East Anglia and neighbor several other existing Group 1 dealerships in the area.

Meanwhile, in his new role as head of U.K. operations, Guiver will report directly to Hesterberg.

Following the sale of his dealer group, Spire Automotive, Guiver joined Group 1 in February 2016.

“Darren is a highly experienced retail operator with a proven track record of success,” Hesterberg said. “My top management team and I have complete confidence that Darren is the right person for this role.  He and I have been working together almost daily for the past two years so we expect this transition to be seamless.”

Lithia keeps growing, adding 6 NJ stores

MEDFORD, Ore. - 

Lithia Motors continues to add more stores to the dealer group near locations already in the company’s portfolio.

Within days of announcing an acquisition near Pittsburgh, Lithia said on Thursday that it has acquired six marquee stores from Prestige Family of Fine Cars in Bergen County, N.J., including a BMW, Mini, Mercedes-Benz, Toyota and two Lexus stores.

The group is estimated to generate $900 million in steady state annual revenue.

“We are pleased to welcome the Prestige team to our family,” Lithia president and chief executive officer Bryan DeBoer said. “These stores are centrally located in Paramus and Ramsey, New Jersey near our existing DCH operations. These are high volume, luxury stores nicely matching one of the most affluent areas in the country.”

DeBoer maintained that the proximity to the company’s existing locations will allow Lithia to share best practices and realize synergies among the Prestige, DCH and Carbone stores.

He added Prestige will diversify the group’s brand mix in the Northeast, strengthening our luxury product offerings.

DeBoer also emphasized that Lithia seeks strong franchised stores in dominant market areas that have yet to realize their full potential.

Commenting on the acquisition activity, DeBoer stated,

“With this transformational acquisition, along with the previously announced Day Auto Group and Ray Laks transactions, we have added over $1.3 billion in steady state annual revenue in the first two months of 2018,” DeBoer said.

“As a result, we are increasing our annual outlook to a range of $12.0-12.5 billion in revenue and $10.60 in earnings per share,” he continued. Day and Prestige are contributing minimally to our 2018 earnings due to their relative underperformance and incremental debt costs, but can deliver earnings similar to our core operations in the future.”

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