The sale of a dealership or group is an everyday thing in the industry right now.
At Automotive News, we've been exploring a number of sometimes-under-the-surface challenges to the dealership model in a three-part series that wraps up this week. These Triple Threats — questions around electric vehicle profitability, states' auto franchise protections and digital retail — generally tip the scale toward selling, especially now, while profits and valuations are high.
But of course, a decision such as selling a business isn't just about trying to time the market. A retail entrepreneur's store — especially an auto dealership — is more than a slice of a portfolio. It's a career, a family legacy, a big part of a person's identity.
"What I found in the last 21 years of doing this: No dealer ever sells just for money," buy-sell consultant Mark Johnson told me last week. "There's always an underlying reason."
Maybe there's a loss in the family, or maybe someone is just ready to retire and doesn't have a descendant who wants to own the business for decades into the future.
That said, once the idea makes sense, it's time to ask: How much can I walk away with?