In 1966, Jim Moran moved to Florida expecting to die. Two years later, he signed the biggest deal of his life and started phase two of his automotive career.
Fifty years later, the company he created, JM Family Enterprises Inc., is a $15.1 billion diversified automotive conglomerate with more than 4,200 employees across North America. It is anchored by Southeast Toyota Distributors, the world's largest independent distributor of Toyota vehicles and the business that launched Moran's empire in October 1968.
JM Family Enterprises CEO Brent Burns today describes Moran as "the ultimate car guy" who figured out that the enterprise's success would hinge on how each unit of the conglomerate could help one another and its customers.
"We've built each one of our companies around the business model [that] we measure our success around the success of our business partners," Burns said.
In addition to Southeast Toyota, Moran's legacy company also is made up of JM&A Group, a leading independent F&I product provider; World Omni Financial Corp., a diversified financial services company with subsidiaries Southeast Toyota Finance and DataScan; and Margate, Fla., dealership JM Lexus.
Moran was inducted into the Automotive Hall of Fame in 2005. In 2006, Moran's personal net worth as estimated by Forbes was $2.4 billion. He died in 2007 at age 88.