More than 98 percent of Group 1 Automotive Inc.'s inventories of over 15,000 vehicles in the Houston and Beaumont, Texas, markets survived Hurricane Harvey, the company said Tuesday.
Despite damage estimated at about $15 million -- including insurance deductibles for damaged inventory and facilities, disaster pay for employees and financial support for team members whose homes flooded -- all of Group 1's stores in the region are open, the company said in a statement. Its Houston stores reopened on Wed., Aug. 30, and its Beaumont stores on Thursday, Aug. 31.
"Our top priority is supporting our employees in the areas affected by Hurricane Harvey. The size and scope of this disaster is almost beyond comprehension and the losses many of our employees and their family members have suffered is staggering. Our hearts go out to all of those affected by this devastating storm," said CEO Earl Hesterberg.
"Beyond helping our employees, we are also moving quickly to get our stores fully online to support the community's needs for replacement vehicles," he added. "And while we did sustain some inventory losses, given that we have over 15,000 units in stock in the impacted area, we are proud of the proactive efforts taken by our dealership teams that greatly protected our new and used inventory. Their actions preserved over 98 percent of our available inventory, which allows us to rapidly assist customers in need of replacement vehicles and service."
Group 1 has nearly 3,000 employees in the greater Houston and Beaumont areas, including those at its Houston headquarters. About 500 suffered significant property losses from flooding and storm damage, the company said. Group 1 is assisting those employees by providing disaster pay and further financial support from the Group 1 Foundation.
Houston is the company's largest revenue-generating market.
Group 1 Automotive ranks No. 3 on Automotive News' list of the top 150 dealership groups based in the U.S., with retail sales of 172,053 new vehicles in 2016.