Lithia Motors Inc. this month bought a high-volume Honda store in New Jersey from a troubled dealership group, building on Lithia's platform of stores in the market.
The acquisition of Hamilton Honda in Hamilton Township, which included real estate, expands Lithia's presence in New Jersey and near eastern Pennsylvania and adds one of the nation's highest-volume Honda stores to its portfolio.
Moving into New Jersey has been profitable for Lithia, according to analysts, and has added more than a billion dollars in annual revenue.
Lithia, the third-largest dealership group in the country with 183 stores nationally, now has 16 dealerships in New Jersey. Lithia entered New Jersey in 2014, when it bought DCH Auto Group, which was headquartered in the state. DCH's stores in New Jersey, New York and California added $2.3 billion in annualized revenue to Lithia. In March 2018, Lithia acquired six locations from the Prestige Family of Fine Cars in Bergen County, N.J., adding an estimated $900 million in annual revenue.
Hamilton Honda, a 65,000-square-foot dealership with 42 service bays, opened in 2009. Last year, the dealership generated $160 million in revenue and was ranked No. 23 nationally in sales among Honda stores and No. 8 in the New York metro market. Lithia bought the store for an undisclosed amount from auto industry veteran Michael Saporito and former NFL linebacker Jessie Armstead, who are principals in a dealership group that last year was sued by two captive finance companies alleging the group defaulted on millions of dollars in floorplan loans.