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Getting to Go

Buy/sell news for auto retailers

Getting to Go, is a quarterly newsletter focused on the dealership mergers and acquisitions business. We aim to bring dealers, investors, vendors, consultants and others working in the buy sell business insights and information. The automotive retail business is very complex and preparing to buy or sell a dealership then completing the actual transaction requires a great deal of specialized knowledge. We hope Getting to Go can give readers a useful resource for that knowledge.

Profit grow is slowing

It’s time to get out that fine-toothed comb

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For the last two or three years, few of Withum’s dealership clients looked at their expense structures, Stuart McCallum, leader of the tax advisory firm’s dealership services practice, says. Dealerships were making money hand over fist and didn’t feel the need to conserve money. Those days are gone.

Getting ready to sell?

Here are things to consider in this environment

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If you’ve held on to your dealership to enjoy the historically high profits of the last few years but now you’re thinking of selling, the market has changed. Keep that in mind as you prepare to sell. James “J.T.” Taylor, managing director, automotive at Truist Securities, has advice for dealers thinking of selling their business in today’s market.

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The dealership world has just come off two of the most profitable years in the industry’s history. The conditions that created that profitability are gone, however, and those looking to acquire a dealership are faced with the question of how to determine what the fair price for a franchise is.

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Buyers of ultra-luxury cars have high expectations, not just of the car and the customer experience, but also the dealership. From the interior materials used to including storage space for clients’ cars, ultra-luxury dealership facilities must create the right environment for their wealthy clientele.

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Customer experience is important to all dealerships, but with ultra-luxury brands that takes on a unique dimension. Ultra-luxury brands rely on exceptional events that create and maintain a sense of community among clients and bond them to the dealership. Such bonds are crucial to a dealership’s success.

What’s the LVMH brand worth?

Mull that over when valuing ultra-luxury dealerships

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Ultra-luxury franchises don’t come on the market often, and valuing one involves special considerations that often don’t apply to other auto franchises, say Willie Beck and Todd Berko, managing partners at Bel Air Partners. That’s because ultra-luxury automotive brands are in a league of their own.

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As auto manufacturers announce plans to add ever more electric vehicles to their product portfolios, many also are requiring their dealer bodies to make substantial investments to prepare to sell those vehicles. In some instances, the manufacturer also is attempting to assume some aspects of the sales process previously controlled by the dealer.

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Ford dealers are worried that some aspects of the Model e program are a slippery slope leading to the agency model of selling vehicles. In an agency model approach, the manufacturer sets the price and manages the online customer relationship. The dealer serves as the delivery point for the vehicle.