Lithia Motors, one of the largest car dealership groups in the United States, has agreed to acquire Pendragon’s car dealerships and leasing business in a deal worth more than £250m. This move marks Lithia’s continued interest in expanding its presence in the UK through acquisitions.
Lithia Motors, also known as Lithia & Driveway, is a New York Stock Exchange-listed car business with ambitious plans to double its annual revenues to between $55bn and $60bn by 2025. It is pursuing this growth strategy through acquisitions, having already established a significant presence in the US and Canada.
With the purchase of Pendragon, Lithia’s portfolio will include around 200 dealerships in the UK. The company boasts that 95% of the US population is within a 250-mile radius of one of its sites. In 2022, Lithia sold 271,596 new cars in the US, making it the largest car dealer group in America. The company reported revenues of $28bn with profits of $1.25bn in the same year.
Aside from car dealerships, Lithia also operates the Driveway Finance Corporation, providing funding for consumers and dealers. The finance arm had a portfolio worth $2bn in 2022.
Lithia has a range of brand names under its umbrella in the US, and the company intends to retain the existing brand names of Jardine, Stratstone, Evans Halshaw, and Carstore for its UK operations. Lithia is led by CEO Bryan DeBoer, who has been with the company since 1989 and has played a significant role in its expansion.
Earlier this year, Lithia acquired Jardine Motors, a dealership group representing luxury brands such as Aston Martin, Ferrari, Maserati, McLaren, and Porsche, for £300m. This strategic acquisition further strengthened Lithia’s presence in the UK market.
The acquisition of Pendragon’s dealership assets, subject to shareholder approval, will make Lithia the second-largest car dealer group in the UK based on annual revenues, with £5bn of turnover. The combined group will represent 25 brands in the UK. Going forward, Lithia is likely to continue pursuing further acquisitions to solidify its position in the UK market.
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