Penske Automotive, Group 1 rebounding from Sandy's wrath
Between 100,000 to 250,000 consumer vehicles could be lost from storm damage, the NADA said.
When Superstorm Sandy hit last week, stores owned by many of the nation's largest dealership groups avoided damage, with two exceptions: Penske Automotive Group and Group 1 Automotive. Each has about a quarter of its stores on the East Coast.
Of 36 Penske Automotive dealerships in the region, three in Jersey City, N.J., were hit the hardest. Severe flooding damaged about 1,000 new and used vehicles and knocked out power until Tuesday. All of the group's stores have since reopened.
Penske estimates that storm-related losses and expenses, including insurance deductibles, will cost 2 to 3 cents per share of its stock during the fourth quarter, "before potential benefits from business interruption insurance," the company said in a statement late Wednesday. The company did not give a dollar figure.
Penske said its East Coast dealerships accounted for about 17 percent of its retail unit sales in the third quarter. The company posted earnings of $41 million, or 45 cents per share, during the quarter.
Group 1 has 24 East Coast dealerships, including BMW, Honda and Mercedes stores in New Jersey and BMW-Mini, Volvo and Mercedes dealerships on Long Island, N.Y.
The dealership group said last week that it is insured, but will incur a $250,000 deductible charge for inventory losses estimated at $2 million.
AutoNation, the nation's No. 1 dealership group, had no serious damage at any of its 215 dealerships, a spokesman said Tuesday.
Other top 10 dealership groups that said they avoided serious storm damage were Sonic Automotive, Hendrick Automotive Group, Staluppi Auto Group, Lithia Motors and Larry H. Miller Group of Cos.
So far, automakers have reported more than 16,000 new vehicles damaged by Sandy. Most will be scrapped.
Nissan Motor Co. said it will need to scrap 6,000 new cars and trucks, the most of any automaker. Toyota Motor Corp. lost 4,825 new vehicles, most of which were stored at the port of Newark in New Jersey, it said. Fisker Automotive lost 330 Karma plug-in hybrid sedans also stored there, a total value of more than $33 million, it said.
Chrysler dealers lost about 750 vehicles, a spokesman said Wednesday.
Neither General Motors nor Ford Motor Co. has said how many of its vehicles were lost.
GM lost an undisclosed number of new Chevrolet Spark subcompact sedans at a port, the company said.
In addition, between 100,000 to 250,000 consumer vehicles could be lost from used vehicle supply, the National Automobile Dealers Association said.
That compares with 325,000 cars flooded during Hurricane Katrina, which slammed the Gulf Coast in 2005, according to the National Insurance Crime Bureau.
Dealers affected by Sandy may apply to receive emergency relief funds for their employees through the National Automobile Dealers Charitable Foundation.
The program has $1.3 million pledged since Sandy struck, $1 million from NADA, and $300,000 from state and metro dealer associations, including $250,000 from the Greater New York Automobile Dealers Association.
Penske Automotive ranks No. 2 on the Automotive News list of top 125 dealership groups in the United States, with retail sales of 154,829 new vehicles in 2011.
Group 1 ranks No. 4 on the list, with retail sales of 102,022 new vehicles in 2011.
Reuters contributed to this report