Florida dealer giant Morgan Automotive builds on its holdings
One of the nation’s largest dealership groups has added to its holdings.
Morgan Automotive Group, based in Tampa, Fla., has acquired nine dealerships and two collision centers from Miami-based South Motors/Vista Motors, according to Haig Partners, which represented the seller in the transaction.
While the price was not disclosed, Haig Partners said in a news release it believes two of the dealerships — Vista BMW and South Honda — sold for record amounts for their brands’ franchises.
Vista BMW was the nation’s top-selling BMW dealership for eight consecutive years and South Honda is regularly ranked among Honda’s top 10 U.S. stores.
With the deal, Morgan Automotive now operates 76 dealerships, all in Florida, making it the state’s largest auto dealer. In 2023, the group retailed some 162,000 vehicles and generated more than $8 billion in revenue. The nine newly acquired stores reported sales of 19,000 units and more than $1 billion last year.
“On the heels of the purchase of both Al Hendrickson Toyota and Kendall Hyundai, this transaction solidifies our presence in Southeast Florida,” Morgan Auto chairman Larry Morgan said in a news release. “We are proud of our concentrated retail portfolio in the growing state of Florida, but are especially excited to be in these vibrant, diverse and economically robust communities.”
Haig said the previous owners of South Motors and Vista Motors — the family of the late company founder Charles Dascal, led by his son-in-law, president and CEO Jonathan Chariff — will retain Midway Ford, the group’s original dealership.
Dascal emigrated from Cuba in 1961 with his wife, infant daughter and parents, and founded Continental National Bank, which grew to seven locations before being sold in 2019.
In 1974, he made a cold call to Henry Ford II, introducing himself as the bank’s chairman and seeking a franchise. He was awarded one, which became Midway Ford.
“It was an honor for our family to serve so many customers in South Florida for almost a half-century,” Chariff said. “We have enjoyed working with countless teammates, whom we consider family members, and we thank them for contributing to our success.”