When we last met with LAcarGuy Mike Sullivan, his operations had expanded as a result of the launch of his thirteenth dealership, a Genesis store. We’re following up on today’s Inside Automotive episode to see how things are moving along and if there’s any more acquisitions in the future.
Since August 2021, LAcarGuy has bought into the Hyundai brand in Santa Monica, which is undergoing substantial remodeling. Their Genesis store recently opened and shot to the number four spot in the country. With two further acquired stores also in the works, by the end of the summer, Sullivan would have bought a total of 16 establishments. After 49 years in the industry, Sullivan has made his career out of buying broken stores. By acquiring broken businesses, Sullivan claims, “I have made a lot of friends along the way, so when they have an opportunity, they give me the first call.”
Current industry uncertainties
According to reports, January and February were the strongest months for the industry in comparison to 2022, when the same data indicated the market was “okay.” Sullivan claims that by getting off to a great start in 2023, “interest rate issues have been problematic as you saw the economy start to stabilize in the later half of 2022.” Inventory has thus begun to slowly increase, but turn rates for hybrid, plug-in, and BEV vehicles are all quite high.
While Santa Monica has been the EV market’s epicenter for the previous 25 years, LAcarGuy asserts that “EVs are an easy business for us here in California. All of our stores are attacking it, and we are creating relatively large, high-power charging stations.” However, for the rest of the country, the numbers are still incredibly small, but they are growing arithmetically. However, States like Montana, which do not want EVs in their state, present a challenge to growing the EV industry. He continues, “It makes sense why some rural places don’t want EVs; their roads and conditions aren’t built for them.”