Some buyers expect to acquire a Volkswagen store at a bargain-basement price. But sellers didn't get the memo.
"Buyers are misinformed," said buy-sell adviser Mark Johnson, president of MD Johnson Inc. in Seattle. "Sellers are hunkered down to see it through."
Despite VW's diesel-emissions scandal, many VW dealerships continue to make money in fixed operations and used-vehicle sales. Those dealers want to be paid a premium for their dealerships. If VW dealers do agree to sell at a cheap price, it's often because they want to keep the real estate, buy-sell advisers say.
In contrast, some buyers are hunting for a VW store in the hope the brand will rebound. They expect a discount for taking a risk.
The diesel emissions scandal erupted in September. Some 580,000 U.S. vehicles were equipped with "defeat devices" that allowed them to pass emissions tests despite exceeding federal pollution standards.
Many dealers worry about the financial impact the scandal will have on VW and the ding to its image. VW brand's new-vehicle U.S. sales through May slumped 13 percent in a market that rose 1.1 percent. In 2015, VW's sales slid 4.8 percent against a 5.7 percent industrywide gain.