Lithia Motors Inc., which became the nation's second-largest new-vehicle retailer in 2021 because of its aggressive acquisition strategy, appears well on its way to overtaking AutoNation Inc. for the No. 1 spot this year.
AutoNation reported selling 56,442 new vehicles in the U.S. during the first quarter, while Lithia reported new-vehicle sales of 64,942 for the period, including a small but undisclosed number sold in Canada.
"We really characterize our performance as resilient," Tom Dobry, Lithia's vice president of marketing, told Automotive News last month. "Our team did a good job of emphasizing that our decentralized structure that allows our stores to be nimble and agile in their local markets, to buy more used vehicles, or lower prices to turn inventory faster, were keys to our performance."