Late last year Jaguar Land Rover thought a consolidation in the Chicago area was a done deal. A Jaguar dealer was set to sell his store to a Land Rover dealer across town.
But in January, the two retailers hit a wall in their negotiations. The deal froze.
JLR wanted it done, so it called in Morrie's Automotive Group CEO Karl Schmidt from Minneapolis for help. Morrie's bought the Jaguar store, then immediately sold it to the Land Rover dealer, and the consolidation was done.
"The easy deals have been done, so now Jaguar Land Rover is working on the more difficult ones, and they have to get more creative," Schmidt said.
For his efforts, JLR awarded Morrie's a new point in Minneapolis.
That's one example of how complicated buy-sell deals between Jaguar and Land Rover dealerships have become as JLR closes in on its goal to consolidate the brands under one rooftop at all U.S. locations. Add into that a discrepancy in the values of the two brands — Land Rover stores generally are more profitable — and the high cost to renovate stores under the automaker's Arch image program. The deals can become very knotty.