Lithia Motors Inc., the nation's third-largest new-vehicle retailer, is entering the desirable and large Florida vehicle sales market with the acquisition of three dealerships in the Tampa area.
Lithia this week said it has acquired Williams Automotive Group's Wesley Chapel Toyota, Wesley Chapel Honda and Tampa Honda.
Describing the dealerships as "strong performers," Lithia said the acquisitions will add an expected $325 million in annual revenue. And by entering Florida, Lithia said it expects to reach 92 percent of U.S. consumers, up from 82 percent.
"We are excited to expand our presence in Florida and position Lithia for further growth in this key geographic region," Lithia CEO Bryan DeBoer said in a statement. "This new partnership increases our national coverage, now reaching nine out of every 10 consumers in the country and also furthering our modernization strategy."
Lithia described the purchase as a "partnership between the two companies" that creates a base of employees and dealerships for Lithia to grow from in the Southeast. The company said John Williams, chairman of Williams Automotive Group, and his team would join Lithia.
The company has been growing its store base. Some of it acquisitions this year are Hamilton Honda in Hamilton Township, N.J., Hazleton Honda in Hazle Township, Pa., and Jaguar-Land Rover Mission Viejo in California.
Lithia, of Medford, Ore., ranks No. 3 on Automotive News' list of the top 150 dealership groups based in the U.S., retailing 184,601 new vehicles in 2018.