DONNA HARRIS

Looking to get out from under costly facilities upgrades?

Donna Harris covers automotive retailing for Automotive News.

I know just the guy to take that dealership property off your hands.

Roger Penske, CEO of Penske Automotive Group, the second-largest dealership group in the country, told analysts Thursday that he will be “opportunistic” in his approach to dealership acquisitions.

And just where does he see opportunities? Penske says many dealers with desirable locations are struggling with factory requirements to upgrade their properties.

As the industry climbed out of the recession, manufacturers got more demanding about sprucing up dealerships to match their prototypes. Penske believes many dealers would rather sell out than pay for costly construction projects.

We all expected acquisitions to gain steam during the downturn, but it appears the recovery could generate some M&A activity.

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