Asbury buys Atlanta-area VW, Bentley dealerships
Asbury Automotive Group, the nation's seventh-largest auto retailer, is buying two Atlanta-area dealerships with annual revenue of $60 million for an undisclosed amount.
The acquisitions of Gossett Volkswagen and Bentley Atlanta will give Asbury, of nearby Duluth, Ga., 12 stores in the Atlanta area.
Gossett Volkswagen will operate as Nalley Volkswagen, Asbury said.
During the next three years, Asbury expects to acquire stores that will represent $400 million to $600 million in additional annual revenue, CEO Craig Monaghan said in October.
The company is targeting acquisitions near its stores in the Southeast and Texas. Asbury forecasts U.S. auto sales to recover to 16 million vehicles by 2015, and the dealership group and its rivals are looking to add stores to cash in on the rebound.
Asbury and rival dealership groups such as AutoNation Inc. and Penske Automotive Group Inc. are buying stores ahead of potential changes to the nation's tax policy on Jan. 1.
AutoNation, the nation's largest auto retailer, is buying six Texas dealerships that generate $575 million in annual revenue, it announced Tuesday. On his Twitter page, AutoNation CEO Mike Jackson called it "the biggest industry acquisition deal in the U.S. in a decade."
Penske said in November and October that it acquired dealerships in Wisconsin and California that will contribute about $255 million of revenue.
In 2011, Asbury's revenue totaled $4.28 billion, with sales of 68,770 new vehicles.