The former CEO of Larry H. Miller Group of Cos., Greg Miller, has purchased his own dealership, the former Bob Baker Toyota in Lemon Grove, Calif., outside San Diego.
Under the deal, which closed Tuesday and was announced today, the dealership will be renamed Greg Miller Toyota. It will be operated as part of Miller’s new enterprise: Greg Miller Automotive San Diego.
“It’s significant that the first dealership I’ve purchased is a Toyota store, as that was the first dealership my parents purchased nearly 40 years ago,” Greg Miller said through a spokeswoman in an email to Automotive News.
Miller’s company is independent of Larry H. Miller Dealerships, the Sandy, Utah, company which is part of Larry H. Miller Group of Cos.
Greg Miller’s father and mother, Larry Miller and Gail Miller, founded that group, which grew to include dealerships, real-estate investments and the Utah Jazz professional basketball team.
While Greg Miller, 49, will be leading his dealership in San Diego, he will still be actively involved on the Larry H. Miller Group board.
‘Dream come true’
For nearly three decades, Miller said, it has been his dream to own a dealership.
“When an associate at Toyota approached and encouraged me to pursue this opportunity, I realized this was a way to fulfill my dream and to continue to be a part of the community I love here in Utah,” Miller said in a media statement.
A spokeswoman for Miller declined to specify whether Miller will expand his new company with more dealership acquisitions, writing in an email: “Owning his own dealership is a dream come true for Greg and his current focus is on this store.”
Miller started his career as a teenager working as a lot attendant at his parents’ first store, Toyota of Murray. He has held a variety of management roles within dealerships and the Larry H. Miller Group through the years.
He was named CEO of Larry H. Miller Group on July 16, 2008, and served for seven years before resigning in March 2015 amid an executive restructuring at the company. His father died in 2009 at age 64 of complications from Type 2 diabetes.
Miller will continue to maintain his Salt Lake City residence, a press release said. He will continue to be actively involved on the Larry H. Miller Group board and serve as the Utah Jazz representative on the NBA Board of Governors, the release said.
Gail Miller, the owner of Larry H. Miller Group, said the family supports his decision to start his own dealership.
“Greg’s new venture allows him to embrace his entrepreneurial side while remaining deeply committed to his Larry H. Miller Group board position and the Utah community,” she said in a media statement.
Larry H. Miller Dealerships ranks No. 10 on Automotive News’ list of the top 150 dealership groups based in the U.S., with new retail sales of 62,476 vehicles in 2015.
Employees of Bob Baker Toyota will transition with the store, Miller said.