Armed with $40 million-plus in cash from a public stock offering last year, DeBoer this week told analysts he is still hunting for acquisitions, but Lithia just has import stores in the pipeline.
That's a big shift for Lithia, which traditionally bought underperforming dealerships in small towns west of the Mississippi. Many were domestic stores in truck country that Lithia snapped up at a bargain, then turned them around showing healthy sales growth.
In the downturn, those stores became Lithia's Achilles heel.
DeBoer's new game plan calls for a balanced brand portfolio. Lithia shed some of its Chrysler stores and isn't looking to buy any more.