Mark McLarty had just closed a major acquisition deal with Asbury Automotive Group and was crossing the Mississippi River on his way home last March when news came that Arkansas had its first confirmed case of COVID-19.
The principal of Little Rock, Ark.-based McLarty Automotive Group had lived in China for a decade, having launched dealership groups there, and his contacts in that country had clued him in to how serious the spreading virus was. But even with the pandemic unfolding and uncertainty about how McLarty Automotive's planned purchase of six Asbury stores in Mississippi would pan out, the decision was made to move ahead with the deal.
"It's turned out to be a tremendous transaction for us," McLarty said. The group has been able to "grow the stores substantially since we bought them a year ago now."