Morgan Automotive’s Brett Morgan discusses the group’s latest acquisition

This was a 'prize asset', and one they were willing to overpay for, says Brett Morgan

It has been an incredibly active year of acquisitions in retail automotive. The latest news coming from Morgan Auto Group of Tampa, Florida. The Group, ranked number 11 of the top 150 dealership groups in the U.S., purchased Reeves Import Motorcars, adding a few new luxury brands to their already extensive portfolio. 

Joining us now to discuss the Group’s latest acquisition and what it means overall is Brett Morgan, CEO of Morgan Automotive Group.

Morgan Automotive Group has been in single-digit day supply on new car sales for several months. Some of the inventory and supply chain issues could possibly last well into 2023. Morgan says it’s kind of “it is, what it is” ordeal. He hopes that we’ve seen the worse of it. They managed to keep their used car day supply at about a 35-day clip.

They have their Morgan Buys Cars initiative and that has brought them supplemental cars outside the pipeline. Morgan believes we’re too dependent on auction purchases. There are about 4 or 5 ways they’re acquiring cars, with trying to do more direct to consumer.

Resetting in this new normal, Morgan says, we need to focus on the customers in our back yard first and provide a better experience. He says in Florida, a lot of dealerships didn’t have the digital or virtual showroom pivot as other dealerships did. He believes his dealership is prepared to go to an all-digital experience, if necessary.

M&AWe pride ourselves on building relationships, says Morgan. Reeves Import Motorcars celebrated their 50th Anniversary this year. Morgan wasn’t sure why, “this time”, was the right time but believes it was a little bit of Covid’s influence. This acquisition doubles their number of luxury rooftops. He says they knew this was a ‘prize asset’, and one they were willing to overpay for.

Related: Dealership M&A activity reaching feverish pace in third quarter

Their first meeting out of Covid lockdown, Morgan says they realized they had a real opportunity on the turnover side. They struggled with entry-level sales and assistant service manager positions. He says leadership sat down to figure out how to change the culture from the bottom up and not just the top down. Morgan says they’re having to learn how to do more with a little less. He says this is a journey, not a destination. It’s something you have to look at and talk about every day.

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