Lithia Motors Inc. said today that it has expanded its presence in its home state by acquiring Honda of Bend and Bob Thomas Chevrolet-Cadillac in Bend, Ore., and has divested its Dodge store in Fresno, Calif. The transaction prices were undisclosed.
The purchase gives the publicly held retailer 16 dealerships in Oregon and about $35 million in additional annual revenue. Fresno Dodge accounted for $17 million in annual revenue and was sold to the owner of Fresno Chrysler-Jeep.
“These two transactions continue our progress toward diversification and improving our brand mix,” Lithia CEO Sid DeBoer said in a statement.
Lithia, of Medford, Ore., aims to reduce its dependence on Chrysler brands, which accounted for 27 percent of new-vehicle revenues in the first quarter. The goal is for no brand to represent more than 20 percent of revenue, said John North, Lithia's corporate controller.
The retailer announced a plan to divest 29 underperforming dealerships in 2008. North said Lithia sold all those stores as well as other weak stores by the end of 2009.
After the latest transactions, Lithia has 84 stores in 12 states and sells 26 new-vehicle brands.
Lithia ranks No. 9 on the Automotive News list of the top 125 U.S. dealership groups with new vehicle retail sales of 30,506 in 2009.