|2021 was the year of buy-sell|
In March 2021, Automotive Newssensing a desire from our audience, decided to change and expand our coverage of new vehicle dealership mergers and acquisitions, colloquially known as buy-sell.
For Automotive News, that meant more editorial resources devoted to the effort. Namely myself, as a journalist, and my colleague Melissa Burden, as a hybrid journalist-editor.
For our readers, this meant greater coverage of buy-sell trades. Much more.
Be certain, Automotive News had covered buy-sell in the past, usually when one of the publicly traded dealer groups or a well-known private group or dealer decided to buy a store.
But it was different.
We started writing individual stories about the transactions as they happened. It didn’t matter where in the country a deal took place or how many rooftops were involved.
We collected transaction data (more on that in a minute) submitted by dealers, buy-sell brokers and others, and we searched for details of other transactions found in regulatory documents. company news, local news stories and social media posts.
Barely a month after deciding to focus more on buy-sell, one of the biggest dealership acquisitions in history happened. Lithia Motors purchased the Suburban Collection, one of the nation’s largest private dealership groups.
It was a harbinger for the year.
In May, it was clear that the pace of transactions was accelerating. To address this, we started compiling recap stories with details on several deals, which kept coming in.
Megadeals also continued to sprout. September was a whirlwind with Group 1 Automotive, Sonic Automotive and Asbury Automotive Group each announcing their own plans to acquire some of the largest private dealer groups in the United States.
As transactions came in, our data continued to grow.
Which brings us to this week’s issue.
You’ll find several data-rich stories that you won’t find anywhere else. From the number of transactions to the number of franchises involved, there is no shortage of buy-sell data.
Want to know how many dealerships were sold in your state last year? We have you. Curious to see how many Subaru franchises have changed hands in 2021? We have that too. (35, by the way.)
In all, Automotive News can now tell in more detail the story of last year’s surge in the buy-sell market, a phenomenon that continues this year.
We also have the data for that.
— Jack Walsworth