The following notable M&A deals were finalized in the past few months, involving numerous brands and a few high-profile dealer groups.
AutoNation has expanded once again, this time buying five dealerships from the Bob Baker Auto Group in Carlsbad, California. The acquisition, which was finalized on June 5th, consists of Hyundai-Genesis, Chrysler-Dodge-Jeep-Ram-Fiat, Volkswagen, Mazda, and Subaru dealerships along with their service lanes. Bob Baker Auto Group’s President and CEO, Chris Baker, noted he “either needed to grow much bigger to get more support to run [his] organization” or he “needed to go the other way and get out of the business” due to the “complex” liability updates constantly being implemented by the State of California. He added that he chose a buyer who would make the transition seamless for its employees and added, “Obviously any commitments that we’ve made to a customer, we stand behind them and AutoNation stands behind them with us.” The Bob Baker Auto Group had operated in the Carlsbad area for over 40 years.
On May 17, Ciocca Dealerships said on Facebook that it had acquired another Stellantis dealership two days prior to the announcement. Located at 2209 State Road in Duncannon, Pennsylvania, the dealership group purchased Forrer Chrysler-Dodge-Jeep-Ram from Jeff Forrer and renamed it Ciocca Chrysler-Dodge-Jeep-Ram of Duncannon. In its Facebook announcement, the group noted the dealership will “remain committed to providing exceptional customer service and top-notch vehicles.” The latest acquisition is the 41st dealership owned by Ciocca Dealerships, which is based in Allentown, Pennsylvania.
Baxter Auto Group
Baxter Auto Group has expanded its presence in Kansas after its acquisition of Audi Shawnee Mission in Merriam. The dealership, which was sold by Holman Auto Group, was originally located in Lenexa before moving to its current location in 2018. Speaking about the purchase, Baxter’s CEO, Mickey Anderson, stated, “This commitment leads us to invest with brands that hold a similarly high standard of service, and Audi has been an exemplary partner in this respect.” Baxter Auto Group also operates Subaru of Olathe, Honda of Olathe, Legends Toyota, and Legends Honda, which are all located near Kansas City. The company has reportedly said it expects to exceed $500 million in revenue throughout that metro area.
Goode Motor Auto Group
Goode Motor Auto Group expanded in March with the purchase of Alaska-based Mendenhall Auto Center from husband-and-wife duo Steven and Karla Allwine. “I’ve worked with cars my entire adult life but we reached a point where it didn’t make sense to do it forever,” noted Steven Allwine, who is well-known in the local community. The auto center includes Mendenhall Chrysler-Dodge-Jeep-Ram-Subaru and Mendenhall Toyota-Honda-Chevrolet plus a Honda Powersports franchise. Goode Motor’s CEO, Matt Cook, said that doing business in Alaska is “much more difficult than the lower 48 for logistical reasons” but that acquiring the Juneau-based dealerships was “an opportunity to sort of own an entire market and acquire brands that [Goode Motor Auto Group] didn’t currently have.”