Automobile

Lithia enters Georgia, expands in California

Lithia Motors Inc. has entered Georgia with the acquisition of a Honda store and separately bought a Chrysler-Dodge-Jeep-Ram-Fiat dealership in Southern California.

Both transactions closed on Monday.

Combined, the two acquisitions will add an expected $320 million to Lithia’s annual revenue.

Lithia bought Curry Honda in Chamblee, Ga., northeast of Atlanta, from Bernie Curry. Lithia is keeping the dealership’s name.

DCG Acquisitions, a Dave Cantin Group company, represented Curry in the transaction.

Georgia is the latest Southeast state that Lithia has entered. In July, Lithia bought its first dealership in Alabama and bought its first Mississippi store in June.

Lithia also acquired Orange Coast Chrysler-Jeep-Dodge-Ram-Fiat in Costa Mesa, Calif., in Orange County, from Jon Gray.

Gray, a past chairman of the Stellantis, then known as FCA, National Dealer Council, is staying on as general manager and the dealership’s name is staying the same, Lithia said. Neither party used a broker in the Costa Mesa transaction.

Terms weren’t disclosed, but Lithia said it paid for the two dealerships using existing balance sheet funding.

“As we strive to bring seamless online and offline experiences to consumers throughout North America, we’re ecstatic to welcome these two high-performing dealership teams to the family,” Lithia CEO Bryan DeBoer said in a statement. “These additions help us expand our omnichannel network and reach our goal of delivering and servicing consumer vehicles within a 100-mile radius anywhere in the country.”

Omnichannel is digital shopping technology that provides a seamless buying experience for consumers regardless of device or whether they shop online, in-store or both.

The acquisitions are Lithia’s first since it acquired Canadian retailer Pfaff Automotive Partners on Aug. 30.

Lithia, of Medford, Ore., ranked No. 3 on Automotive News‘ most recent list of the top 150 dealership groups based in the U.S., retailing 171,168 new vehicles in 2020. But its April acquisition of Michigan’s Suburban Collection makes Lithia the second-largest group going forward.


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