To the Editor:
Your roundup of the top 150 dealership groups based in the U.S. was invaluable, and I don't doubt consolidation among dealerships is moving ahead ("Upheaval hits retail rankings," March 16).
But it is fascinating to see that most of the action in dealership consolidation is at the city or state or regional level, not at the national level.
The top 10 groups, according to your figures, sold about 8.6 percent of all new vehicles sold in the U.S. in 2014, but that is scarcely ahead of where the top 10 were a decade ago. In 2004, the top 10 had about an 8.1 percent market share.
That slow pace of growth of the megagroups is certainly contrary to what was expected by many when the first public groups were launched years back.
I think many of us thought H. Wayne Huizenga would sweep the board. But that did not happen, which leads me to conclude that economies of scale are maximized at rooftop counts of 50 or 100 or so -- and that beyond that, it is harder to make the case for continued expansion.
That may all change, of course, but for the past couple of decades, at least, the case for the ultralarge dealership group has just not panned out.
Shaker Heights, Ohio
The writer is an automotive consultant.