SALT LAKE CITY — Larry H. Miller Dealerships has announced the acquisition of seven dealerships in the state of Arizona; three stores in Avondale and four in Tucson.
Avondale stores include: Avondale Chrysler Jeep; Avondale Dodge Ram; and Avondale Fiat. Tucson stores include Tucson Dodge Ram; Tucson Chrysler Jeep; Tucson Fiat and Tucson Volkswagen. The acquisition is the largest in the company’s history, further affirming the group’s dedication to the Arizona market and growth overall.
“Larry H. Miller Dealerships is committed to growth, being a good community partner, and providing meaningful employment to members of the communities where we conduct business,” said Dean Fitzpatrick, president.
These additional stores will increase the company’s overall volume by approximately 15 percent and take it into a new market in Tucson. Larry H. Miller Dealerships will remain 10th on the Automotive News list of top 125 dealership groups in the country, now operating 19 different automotive brands at 55 locations in seven Western states.
The company’s development and use of an analytical approach for expansion has resulted in unprecedented growth in the number of Larry H. Miller dealerships in the past four years, adding 23 stores for a 48 percent increase (Five stores were sold in this same timeframe).
Negotiations for the Arizona dealerships, purchased from Doug Moreland and John Grant, began seven months ago. Steve Starks, executive vice president for the Larry H. Miller Management Corp. represented the Miller’s interest in the agreement and has been leading the company’s quest for new acquisitions for the past four years.
“Not only is this the largest dealership acquisition in our company’s history, we believe it is among the largest acquisitions in the industry over the past several years,” Starks said.
Larry H. Miller Dealerships opened its first Valley location, Larry H. Miller Toyota Peoria, in 1980. The automotive group added a Dodge dealership to the site in 1995 and Hyundai in 2000. Larry H. Miller Volkswagen was opened in 2004 in Avondale, and its Nissan dealership was opened in Scottsdale in 2006. it then moved to Mesa in 2008. The group also opened a new Chrysler, Dodge, Jeep, Ram dealership in Surprise in late 2012.
Arizona is the second largest state behind Utah for number of dealerships owned by the Miller Group. On September 29, 2007, the group sold its one-millionth car in company history to a customer at Larry H. Miller Dodge Peoria.
Outside of the latest acquisition, Larry H. Miller Dealerships currently operates six stores in the Phoenix market; three of which are part of a $30 million West Valley reconstruction project. The Larry H. Miller Toyota, Hyundai and Dodge Ram stores on Bell Road in Peoria are anticipated for completion in summer 2013.
Larry H. Miller Dealerships will retain the existing employees of the seven newly-acquired dealerships, bringing the total number of Arizona-based personnel to more than 1,000. Overall, the company employs more than 3,700 people.
“An important part of the purchase value of these dealerships is the employees,” said Fitzpatrick. “We are impressed with the corporate culture at these stores and the high-caliber, experienced people who work there. We feel that they will be a great fit for our organization.”