DETROIT — The Banks Report, an online source for analysis and insight on the automotive industry, today released The 2014 Dealership Acquisition Report, a comprehensive assessment and analysis of dealership acquisition activity from the previous year.

Based on 2013 data, the report paints a picture of a year that showed more robust acquisition activity than in previous years (although public dealer group activity was flat), with more than 202 dealerships and 286 franchises changing hands.

Activity was brisk during the first and last months of 2013, with Chrysler/Jeep brands leaing all franchises for number of acquisitions. The report segments buy/sell activity by public dealer group/franchise, brand and segment.

"This report reveals a market in flux, although U.S. public dealer groups buy/sell activity in 2013 was flat compared to 2012," says Cliff Banks, founder and president of The Banks Report. "The public dealer groups continue to exercise a disciplined acquisition strategy which keeps the market from being more active. Also, there are numerous challenges in getting a deal across the finish line.”

2013 Dealership Acquisition Report Highlights:

  • 180 U.S. dealerships and 260 franchises changed hands
  • 34 U.S. acquisitions made by the public groups
  • 146 U.S. acquisitions made by private groups
  • Domestic brands accounted for 50% of all acquisitions
  • Chrysler and Jeep led all brands, with each accounting for 19 acquisitions

"The Chrysler brands were the hottest in 2013 when it came to acquisitions," says Banks. "Several dealers who made it through the bloodbath in 2009 know this is the time to get out. Their sale prices are as high as they'll ever be due to Chrysler having had more than 40 straight months of sales increases. The buyers primarily are well-capitalized local dealers looking to add to their portfolios at prices that still are fairly reasonable."