What if overseas sales were excluded?
Group 1 Automotive Inc., No. 3 on the Automotive News list of the top 125 dealership groups based in the United States, would drop to No. 5 if the rankings reflected only U.S. sales.
Group 1, with 32 stores overseas, is one of five dealership groups on the list that reported sales outside the United States.
The Automotive News list ranks U.S.-based groups on their 2013 new-vehicle retail unit sales, regardless of where those sales were. But with several dealership groups also doing business elsewhere -- from Italy to Brazil to China -- it's worth considering what a U.S.-units-only sales ranking would look like.
If you subtract Group 1's 30,797 overseas new-vehicle sales, its remaining 125,069 U.S.-only sales would place it at No. 5, falling behind Sonic Automotive Inc. and Van Tuyl Group.
In contrast, Penske Automotive Group Inc.'s No. 2 ranking wouldn't change, despite the group's having far more dealerships outside the United States: 105, mainly in the United Kingdom, in addition to its 138 U.S. stores.
The company says 36 percent of its 2013 revenues came from outside the United States, but it declined to give a U.S. vs. overseas breakdown by units.
Vehicle prices tend to be higher outside the United States, especially for the premium brands that Penske's foreign dealerships specialize in. So Automotive News assumed that 30 percent of Penske's new retail sales were outside the United States, leading to an estimate that the group's U.S. new retail sales tally in 2013 was 139,856, still enough to edge out Sonic's 132,363.
In contrast, Servco Pacific Inc., of Honolulu, now ranked No. 70, would fall off the list if the ranking were based solely on U.S. sales. Subtract the sales at its five Australian dealerships, and its remaining Hawaiian stores had 2013 new retail sales of 4,834 -- well below the 8,020 new retail units sold by No. 125, Bobby Rahal Automotive Group.
Likewise, Greenway Automotive, of Orlando, would slide from No. 12 to No. 19 if the 12,441 sales at its five Chinese stores were excluded.
You can reach James B. Treece at email@example.com.