Lithia Motors Inc., which continues to gobble up dealerships, including acquiring five in Wisconsin in September, also sold one dealership in Northern California and another in Southern California this month, as it sheds some stores in a “network optimization” plan.
The Medford, Ore., auto retailer sold Lithia Chrysler-Dodge-Jeep-Ram-Fiat of Eureka on Sept. 14 to Harper Motors, a Lithia representative confirmed.
The store was renamed Eureka Chrysler-Dodge-Jeep-Ram-Fiat. Eureka is located about 100 miles south of the Oregon border.
Harper Motors also owns a Ford-Kia dealership and Honda and Toyota stores in Eureka, said Joe Ozog, president of Ozog Consulting Group in Scottsdale, Ariz. Ozog Consulting Group represented Lithia in the Stellantis dealership sale.
A day after that sale, on Sept. 15, Lithia sold DCH Gardena Honda to David Wilson Automotive Group. The dealership was renamed Gardena Honda. Gardena is south of Los Angeles.
Jay Francis, an operating partner at several David Wilson Automotive dealerships, Ozog said, is the operating partner at Gardena Honda. Ozog said Francis has equity in the dealership, but he didn’t specify how much.
Ozog Consulting also represented Lithia in the Honda dealership transaction.
“We understand Lithia’s growth strategy and our expansion plans fit perfectly with theirs,” Wilson said in a statement.
Lithia had owned the dealership since 2014, part of Lithia’s purchase of DCH Auto Group Inc. in 2014, Ozog and Lithia confirmed.
David Wilson Automotive now has 17 dealerships across California, Nevada and Arizona, according to its website. The group also owns a Toyota dealership in Mexico.
David Wilson Automotive, of Orange, Calif., ranks No. 10 on Automotive News‘ list of the top 150 dealership groups based in the U.S., retailing 50,425 new vehicles in 2021.
Both divestitures followed Lithia’s acquisition of Wilde Automotive Group in Wisconsin on Sept. 12, Lithia confirmed.
Lithia, which has sold several stores this year and said this week it expects to sell dealerships in 2022 representing $625 million in annual revenue, also recently confirmed it divested a Chevrolet dealership in Idaho this year.
The auto retail giant sold Chevrolet of Twin Falls on Feb. 7 to Rydell Co., Greg Krueger, partner at Sterling Mergers and Acquisitions in Boise, Idaho, confirmed. Krueger’s firm represented Lithia.
The dealership was renamed Twin Falls Chevrolet. Twin Falls is southeast of Boise. Rydell is building a new Chevrolet facility next to its Subaru dealership in Twin Falls, Krueger noted. Lithia also sold a North Dakota Toyota store to Rydell in July.
Lithia ranks No. 2 on Automotive News‘ most recent list of the top 150 dealership groups, retailing 260,738 new vehicles in 2021.