BRUSSELS - Republic Industries Inc. 'is getting too big, too fast,' according to Trevor Chinn, chairman of Lex Service PLC, one of the largest dealer groups in the United Kingdom.
'I don't think stitching together 20 to 30 dealer groups will work,' he said. Chinn spoke last week at the Automotive News Europe Congress here.
He said Republic faces three basic problems.
'First, there is the huge problem of acquiring entrepreneurs to run dealerships,' who then leave to become their own bosses.
'Then, there isn't the professional management available to stand in for them afterward,' said Chinn.
Finally, he said, car dealerships 'cannot be run as if they were a chain of supermarkets or electrical retailers. A dealership is a local business. This is something that we at Lex forgot for a while. We became too centralized.'
Chinn also said it is possible to get too big. 'We have reduced our share of the market,' because some of the group's outlets were too small, with no scope for growth, he said.
Lex owns 80 car and truck dealerships in the United Kingdom, but it has been closing some as part of a trend toward larger sales territories in the country.