200-Plus Dealership Acquisitions in 2013


There were more than 200 acquisitions made by U.S. dealerships in 2013, and the leading franchises in these purchases were Chrysler and Jeep brands.

That’s according to “The 2014 Dealership Acquisition Report” from The Banks Report.

Overall, U.S. dealers bought 202 dealerships last year, 180 of which were in the U.S. The remaining 22 were international purchases made by Group 1 Automotive, which bought 18 stores in Brazil and four in the U.K.

Being that this is the acquisition report’s inaugural year, there was not year-ago overall figures available, except for those pertaining to public groups.  Purchase activity for these retailers was flat year-over-year, according to the report.

Specifically, public groups bought 34 U.S.-based dealerships in 2013, the same as 2012.  As for international purchases by public groups, there were 22 in both years, as well.

“This report reveals a market in flux, although U.S. public dealer groups buy/sell activity in 2013 was flat compared to 2012,” says Cliff Banks, founder and president of The Banks Report. “The public dealer groups continue to exercise a disciplined acquisition strategy which keeps the market from being more active. Also, there are numerous challenges in getting a deal across the finish line.”

Going back to the grand total of 202 dealership purchases in 2013, this included 286 franchises.

The busiest months for buying and selling were the first and last months. Leading the way for the year were Chrysler and Jeep, each of which represented 19 deals.

“The Chrysler brands were the hottest in 2013 when it came to acquisitions,” says Banks. “Several dealers who made it through the bloodbath in 2009 know this is the time to get out.

“Their sale prices are as high as they'll ever be due to Chrysler having had more than 40 straight months of sales increases. The buyers primarily are well-capitalized local dealers looking to add to their portfolios at prices that still are fairly reasonable.”

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