Group 1 Automotive Inc., put off by high prices for dealerships and unacceptable returns, will slow its acquisition pace in the near term, CEO Earl Hesterberg said.
"I don't see those opportunities at the moment," he said. "Prices have gotten very, very high. I don't see that type of pace in the U.S. in the near term."
In the first nine months of this year, the nation's third-largest dealership group bought 12 dealerships that are expected to add an estimated $680 million in annual revenues.
When seeking to add a franchise, Group 1 looks for a 15 to 20 percent return on investment on a pretax basis, CFO John Rickel said.
Hesterberg said: "I have seen more deals on the market in the last couple of months, but the prices wouldn't work for an investment."